Home Science Facebook $725m settlement fund opens to US claims

Facebook $725m settlement fund opens to US claims

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US Facebook users can now apply for their share of a $725m (£583m) privacy-case settlement.
The legal action alleged the social-media company shared 87 million users' data without their consent, via third parties such as Cambridge Analytica.
The allegation, dating back to 2018, remains one of the highest-profile data-privacy scandals.
Meta, which owns Facebook, has denied any wrongdoing but agreed to the settlement.
Anyone who used Facebook in the US between 24 May 2007 to 22 December 2022 can claim – "in the range of 250-280 million" people, according to the ruling document.
Claims can be filed on the settlement website or by mail, including:
Claimants can choose to receive their funds via:
The deadline to claim is 25 August – but anyone wanting to object to the settlement or retain their right to take separate legal action against Meta by opting out must do so by 26 July.
Claimants who qualify will be awarded one point for each month they had a Facebook account during the "class period".
The net settlement amount ($725m minus legal and administrative costs) will then be divided by the total number of points, to determine how much money will be paid for each.
A federal judge gave the agreement preliminary approval at the end of March – but a final approval hearing is set for 7 September and there may be appeals that delay the process further.
Technology author James Ball told BBC News that Meta executives would be relatively pleased with this settlement.
"On one level, $725m is a huge amount of cash – but Meta is such a large company that this figure represents less than three days of its revenue," he said.
"Meta is keen to present privacy issues such as those raised by the Cambridge Analytica controversy as historical – obviously it remains to be seen whether that's the case – as if there are more settlements in the future, that could start to have a more serious impact on the company."
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