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$720 Million Facebook Settlement Deadline Nears

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg (screenshot from Facebook)

People eligible for a share in the Facebook/Meta class action suit $725 million settlement have until August 25, 2023 to make an official filing for their claim. The lawsuit was related to the company collecting personal information from its users and selling it to third parties without their users’ knowledge or permission with the aid of outside firms like the now-defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

To be eligible to make a claim a person must have been a U.S. Facebook user at any point between May 24, 2007 and Dec. 22, 2022.

Butanyone who was classified as “directors, officers, legal representatives, alleged co-conspirators, and agents” of Facebook’s parent company Meta are disqualified from inclusion. And so are any people who worked in any way a “legal counsel” to Facebook on the law suit.

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Facebook reached a settlement agreement in August, 2022, in the lawsuit which was filed as a class action suit on behalf of 87 million Facebook users who maintained that the company sold their personal data to Cambridge Analytica without their permission. But if each and every one of the 87 million people make a claim, that comes to only a little more than $8 per person. Even if only 10 percent makes claims then that would only average out to about $83 per person.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in 2018 when one of the company’s employees revealed to the press what it had done. In 2019 Facebook was fined $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for violating its users’ privacy.

This led to the company being forced to declare bankruptcy. Cambridge Analytica was a British political consulting firm.

And what exactly was it that Cambridge Analytica did? It harvested personal data from millions of Facebook users without their consent. The data was then used by Cambridge Analytica to create psychographic profiles of the people whose privacy had been violated.

This was then used for things like political campaigns. For example, a campaign, each profile’s information suggested what type of advertisement would be most effective to persuade individuals on specific issues and political campaigns.

Facebook/Meta never admitted wrongdoing or that it was guilty of any of the charges brought in the class action suit. But the firm does insist it is taking people’s privacy seriously today. Its spokesperson recently said, “Over the last three years we revamped our approach to privacy and implemented a comprehensive privacy program. We look forward to continuing to build services people love and trust with privacy at the forefront.”



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