Having a Facebook account is finally going to pay off as the social media site’s parent company, Meta, has agreed to a $725 million settlement in the Cambridge Analytica class-action lawsuit — and you could be owed a cut of the cash.
If you had a Facebook account between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, and lived in the U.S. during that time, you are eligible to claim a share of the settlement. Even if you deleted your account during that period you are still entitled to a small percentage of the eye-watering settlement.
In order to request your cut of the settlement, you’ll need to fill in this online claim form. You have until 11.59 p.m. PT on August 25, 2023, to submit your claim.
The form is pretty comprehensive requiring a full name, current address, email, telephone number and payment details. Considering the reason for the settlement, you might want to pause before handing over so much personal information.
It’s estimated that around 280 million Facebook users are entitled to a share of the settlement, so some quick napkin math will tell you won’t be getting rich here.
In fact, considering you may only receive a few dollars for your efforts, you might feel the time required to fill in the form isn’t worth the meager monetary reward.
However, the fewer people who take the time to fill in the form, the smaller the pool of Facebook users that will split the settlement after the deadline is up. So, if you’re willing to sacrifice some personal data, you could end up getting even a couple dozen dollars. Plus, you'll enjoy the satisfaction that comes with receiving some compensation for Meta’s failure to protect your private details.
Here's why Facebook owes you money
If you’re out of the loop, the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal broke five years ago when journalists discovered that the named political research firm had collected and shared the private information of more than 87 million Facebook users and that the social media giant had failed to notify users of the data breach. After several years of litigation, a settlement was reached between Meta and its users, and that’s how we’ve arrived here.
So, if you feel particularly aggrieved that your personal data may have been harvested and shared without your express consent, then this is your chance to get a little financial compensation. Just don’t expect to receive a sum of money that will be particularly significant.
On paper, a $725 million settlement seems like an almost incomprehensible amount of money, but there are a lot of parties that have been wronged in this case and each individual is owed a share of the agreed-upon sum.