Tons Of Facebook Users Owed Payments In Class Action Suit - How To Submit Your Claim

If you are a U.S. resident who used Facebook between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, you could be eligible for compensation from the social media giant. Meta, the parent company that owns platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, recently agreed to pay a staggering $725 million in settlement money as part of a long-contested privacy-related class action lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit dates back to 2018 and was filed against the company shortly after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the data mining firm had allegedly gained access to personal data belonging to up to 87 million Facebook users without their explicit consent.

If Facebook goes ahead with the payout, the amount of $725 million will make it the largest settlement amount ever for a privacy-related class-action lawsuit. At this time, it is unclear how much compensation each eligible user would receive, given that the final amount would only be decided after deducting legal and administrative fees from the amount pool. A lot would also depend on the number of users who file for the claim. In addition, the payment figure will also be based on the length of time the eligible user used Facebook during the claim period.

How to claim your share of $725 million?

There are several prerequisites for a user to be eligible for monetary compensation from Facebook. To begin with, you need to be a Facebook user who resided in the U.S. between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022. You would be eligible for the settlement amount even if you opted out of the platform before the December 2022 deadline.

All eligible users must also submit a properly completed claim to the Settle Administration form before August 25, 2023, to be considered for the payout. Users have two options to submit their claim: the first is a completely online process that involves filling out an online claim form. The second option is to download the claim form separately, fill it out manually, and mail it to the Settlement Administrator. It is important to note that any user submitting a claim will forfeit the right to be a part of other lawsuits against Facebook/ Meta in connection with this particular settlement.

Users also have the option to opt out of the settlement and receive no payment from Facebook. This option, however, opens up the possibility of suing the defendant in other lawsuits related to this case. This option also opens up the possibility for users to hire their own legal counsel against Meta. Finally, there is a third option in which users can object to the settlement and speak about the reasons for the objections at the final approval hearing later this year. The deadline for filing these objections is July 26, 2023.

All the details surrounding the lawsuit are available on a dedicated website. This website is also where users are required to submit their claim requests. The final approval hearing for this lawsuit is scheduled for September 7, 2023.

Facebook says it didn't do anything wrong

Despite agreeing to pay the settlement fee, Meta maintains that it didn't do anything wrong in the case of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The plaintiffs, on the other hand, continue to maintain that Facebook allowed third parties easy access to user content without asking for explicit permission from them. They also allege that Facebook did not monitor how these third parties used the personal data mined illegally from Facebook.

Meta's decision to pay the settlement amount comes at a time when the company is facing challenges on multiple fronts. In recent years, the company has faced stiff competition from the short video platform TikTok, even prompting them to release a new product called Instagram Reels as a direct response. The company — which has a lot of money pinned on targeted advertisements — was also affected by Apple's decision to limit user data to third-party apps, including several ones from Facebook. The company has also been in the news for a spate of layoffs that affected thousands of workers.