Facebook Users Could Get a Piece of a $725 Million Settlement

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What happened

If you had a Facebook account between May 2007 and December 2022, you may be entitled to a payday. Facebook recently agreed to a $725 million settlement related to privacy practices, and if you could use a cash infusion, it might pay to file a claim.

To file a claim, Facebook users need to submit this form by Aug. 25. You'll be able to choose from a host of payment methods, from a Venmo deposit to one in your bank account.

All claim forms must be submitted by Aug. 25 to be included in Facebook's settlement. A final settlement hearing is scheduled for Sept. 7, at which point payments will be distributed.

So what

Four years ago, Facebook came under fire when it became evident that as many as 87 million users had their private information obtained by Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm associated with the Trump campaign. In December, Facebook's parent company, Meta, agreed to a $725 million settlement for users impacted by that sharing of data. And now, consumers can file an actual claim for a piece of that pot.

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“We pursued a settlement as it’s in the best interest of our community and shareholders," Meta spokesperson Dina Luce said in a statement following the settlement agreement. "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."

Now what

Because a large number of claimants may be eligible for a payday as part of this Facebook settlement, it's unclear as to how much money consumers will be able to get on an individual basis. But at a time when money has gotten tight for a lot of people, and many consumers have loaded up on credit card debt just to make ends meet, every little bit helps.

Meanwhile, if you have concerns about how private your information is, whether on Facebook or another social media site, your best bet is really to do your research. You may also want to limit the amount of personal data you include in your profile.

Some Facebook users make a point to only allow approved friends to access their profiles. But the reality is that it's hard to know what Facebook data of yours is being shared with outside parties. So as a general rule, if you're going to put something up on Facebook, it's best to assume that you'll have a broader audience than expected.

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