Facebook parent company Meta recently agreed to pay the sum to settle claims it allowed people’s personal data to be shared with third parties. The most famous third party to get access was Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that supported Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Meta agreed to the payout, but denies any wrongdoing.
The deadline to file a claim is Aug. 25, 2023. If you file a claim by mail, it has to be postmarked by that date. If you file it online, it needs to be done by 11:59 p.m. the night of Aug. 25.
Who qualifies for a payment?
The settlement amount is huge, but so is the number of people who qualify for a payment.
The criteria is pretty simple: “If you were a Facebook user in the United States between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, inclusive, you may be eligible for a cash payment,” the settlement details state.
People who deleted their Facebook accounts in that time period may also be eligible, but they will likely receive a smaller payment. How big your payout is depends in part on how long your account was active.
How do I file a claim?
There are two ways to submit a claim: online or by mail.
To file online, you’ll need to click here, answer a few questions about yourself, and then decide how you’d like to be paid (prepaid gift card, direct deposit, PayPal, etc.).
To file by mail, you’ll need to print some forms and send them in to the settlement administrator in Philadelphia.
When will payments go out?
After the claim deadline on Aug. 25, there is still a final settlement hearing, which is scheduled for Sept. 7, 2023 at 1 p.m. Pacific Time. It’s not clear the exact date payments will be issued, but the soonest they could be sent out is after the September court date.
How much will I get?
The short answer is unsatisfying: We don’t know.
We asked Scott Dodson, a distinguished professor of law at UC Law San Francisco and the director of the Center for Litigation and Courts, to help us estimate a figure. He broke down all the factors that go into calculating the size of a class action lawsuit payment, and explained all the fees that will be deducted from the pot of money before it’s even distributed.
Based on similar large class action settlements, Dodson estimated the higher end of payments might be in the “triple digits,” with many more receiving less than $100.