A Brief on the Origins of the Case
In what could only be described as a watershed moment for digital privacy, Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, agreed to a settlement of $725 million. The lawsuit was spurred by allegations that Facebook breached its users’ privacy by sharing their data with third parties, the most notorious of which was Cambridge Analytica. As the Associated Press reported, Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users and utilized it for political targeting during the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign.
The Timeline of Events
- 2018: Revelations about the involvement of Cambridge Analytica come to light.
- Early 2023: Meta Platforms agree to a settlement in a San Francisco federal court.
- August 25, 2023: Deadline for filing claims passes.
- September 7, 2023: Final court hearing was scheduled.
Who Was Eligible?
According to court documents, anyone in the U.S. who had a Facebook account between May 2007 and December 2022 was eligible to stake a claim. As per the lawyers for the plaintiffs, “more than 28 million claims were filed” before the August deadline. About 17 million of these have been preliminarily validated.
The Share Per User
If you’re wondering about the exact size of your potential payout, it was set to work on a point system. A point would be granted for every month you had an active Facebook account within the specified period. After covering administrative costs and lawyers’ fees, the “median payment is expected to be around $30,” as the lawyers told Judge Vince Chhabria.
Missed the Deadline?
It’s worth noting that as of September 10, 2023, the deadline to submit your claim, which was August 25, 2023, has passed. If you didn’t submit your claim by then, you’ve likely missed the opportunity to benefit from this settlement.
While it may not be a windfall, the case serves as a precedent in the ongoing fight for digital privacy.
What Lies Beyond
As the dust settles on this case, the implications for digital privacy are far-reaching. Even if you missed out on this particular payout, being aware of these issues and staying vigilant for future opportunities is your best course of action. Keep your eyes peeled for updates, because in the world of technology, change is the only constant.