In a landmark class-action lawsuit settlement, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has agreed to pay a staggering $725 million to address claims of allowing users’ personal data to be shared with third parties. The infamous Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that supported Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was one of the third parties involved.
While Meta has agreed to the payout, it denies any wrongdoing in the matter. However, the company is taking steps to provide compensation to affected users and ex-users. Those who believe they qualify for a payment must act fast, as the deadline to file a claim is August 25, 2023.
The eligibility criteria are relatively straightforward: anyone who was a Facebook user in the United States between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, is eligible for a cash payment. This inclusive time frame ensures that a significant number of people qualify for compensation. Even individuals who deleted their Facebook accounts during this period may still be eligible, though their payments might be smaller, depending on their account’s duration.
To file a claim, individuals have two options: online or by mail. The online process involves visiting the designated website, answering a few questions, and selecting their preferred payment method, such as a prepaid gift card, direct deposit, or PayPal.
For those opting to file by mail, they need to print and complete specific forms, which must be sent to the settlement administrator in Philadelphia. The deadline for submitting claims online is 11:59 p.m. on August 25, 2023, while those filing by mail must ensure their submissions are postmarked by the same date.
After the claim deadline, a final settlement hearing is scheduled for September 7, 2023, at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. While the exact payment distribution date remains uncertain, the earliest potential date for payments to be issued is after the September court hearing.
As for the actual payment amounts, it’s challenging to provide an exact figure at this stage. Scott Dodson, a distinguished professor of law at UC Law San Francisco and director of the Center for Litigation and Courts, offered some insights into the factors involved in calculating class-action lawsuit payments. He explained that fees and deductions from the settlement amount would impact the final payments.
Based on previous large class-action settlements, Dodson estimated that the higher end of payments might reach the “triple digits,” while a substantial portion of claimants could receive less than $100.
As the deadline approaches, Facebook users and ex-users are encouraged to determine their eligibility and submit their claims promptly. This massive settlement serves as a significant step towards addressing data privacy concerns and providing compensation to those affected.
Source : The Hill
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