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Facebook owes us $725 million: here’s how to get your cut

Facebook owes us $725 million: here’s how to get your cut


American users who had an active Facebook account between May 2007 and December 2022 could get some free cash soon. You’ll have to file a claim by August 25th, 2023, to get it, though.

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Illustration: Nick Barclay / The Verge

If you’re a US Facebook user who had an active account between May 24th, 2007, and December 22nd, 2022, you may be able to receive a portion of a multimillion-dollar class action settlement related to user privacy.

Facebook parent company Meta agreed to pay $725 million to resolve a lawsuit accusing it of granting Cambridge Analytica and other third parties access to private user data, which a judge has tentatively approved. The tech giant also faced accusations it misled users about how much control they had over their private information. Meta, however, denies it did anything wrong.

If you’d like to make a claim, you can do so online by August 25th, 2023. After answering a few questions, you’ll then be able to choose how you’d like to be paid, whether that’s through direct deposit, a prepaid gift card, or the likes of PayPal.

Alternatively, you can apply by mail. To do that, you’ll need to print and fill out a few forms and then send them to a settlement administrator in Pennsylvania.

In 2018, Cambridge Analytica — a now-defunct consulting firm that worked with former President Donald Trump’s campaign — accessed the private data of as many as 87 million Facebook users, thus prompting the lawsuit. A researcher who was granted permission by Facebook to deploy an app harvesting user data gave Cambridge Analytica the information.

That lawsuit eventually expanded to cover other cases where Facebook was accused of granting access to user data without their consent to other third parties.

According to lawyers for the plaintiff, the proposed $725 million settlement is the largest ever achieved in a US data privacy class action case. It’s also the most Meta’s ever paid to settle a class action lawsuit.