If you used Facebook between May 2007 and December 2022, you could be eligible for a cash payout, but only if you file a claim.

The Bay Area-based social network’s parent firm, Meta, has agreed to pay $725 million to end a contentious lawsuit over user privacy.

Class action lawsuit alleges Facebook violated the law by allowing third parties to access users’ personal material and information without users’ knowledge; litigation was initiated after 2018’s Cambridge Analytica incident but expanded to include numerous other alleged Facebook data deals.

By consenting to the payment, Facebook did not admit wrongdoing but did state it has altered its policies around user privacy.

The Facebook class action deal will benefit nearly everyone.

The claims portal requires users’ contact details in addition to answering a few quick questions regarding their Facebook profiles. This writer spent less than three minutes completing the whole claim form. There are a variety of direct deposit methods presented on the page, including Venmo.

The final hearing for the settlement is scheduled for September 7, and payments will be made after August 25. The deadline to reject the settlement and keep the option to file a new lawsuit against Facebook over the same or related privacy concerns is July 26.

The Federal Trade Commission also hit the business with a record $5 billion penalties for privacy abuses.

How much will people receive from the settlement? How many claims are submitted and how long a user’s account was active will determine this.

Each claimant will receive a certain number of “points” for each month they maintained an account between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022; these points will be used to determine how the settlement funds will be divided (after deducting attorney expenses of up to 25% and class representative compensation).

The judge gave preliminary approval to the settlement deal on March 29. The plaintiffs’ lawyers claim that between 250 million and 280 million U.S. adults are Facebook users, making them eligible for payment under the terms of the settlement. In the deal, the lawyers on both sides acknowledged that it would be difficult to prove actual damages across the whole user base if the case went to trial.

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