Facebook users who had an active account at any point between May 2007 and December 2022 can now apply to get paid a part of the parent company, Meta’s $725 million settlement related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, reports CNN.
The company had disclosed that the private information of as many as 87 million Facebook users was obtained by Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that worked with the Trump campaign.
This led to a legal tussle that began four years ago.
However, in December Meta agreed to settle the class action lawsuit accusing it of allowing Cambridge Analytica and other third parties to access private user information and misleading users about its privacy practices.
Preliminary approval of the settlement was granted late last month by the California judge overseeing the case.
Following this approval, Facebook users can now apply for a cash payment as part of the settlement.
According to CNN, the claim form which requires a few personal details and information about a user’s Facebook account can be filled out online or printed and submitted by mail. The form takes only a few minutes to complete and must be submitted by August 25 to be included as part of the settlement.
To be eligible to be part of the settlement class, any United States Facebook user who had an active account between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, qualifies for the settlement, including those who have since deleted their accounts.
According to a frequently asked questions page on the settlement site, the fund will be distributed to class members who submit valid claims based on how long they had an active Facebook account during the relevant period.
It’s however not yet clear how much each settlement payment will be.
Assuming there are no appeals, settlement payments will be distributed after the court’s final approval hearing scheduled for September 7.
There have been some changes made by Facebook as a result of the Cambridge Analytica incident, including restricting third-party access to user data and improving communications with users about how their data is collected and shared.
After the December settlement agreement, Dina Luce, spokesperson for Meta said, “We pursued a settlement as it’s in the best interest of our community and shareholders.”
“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.”