WASHINGTON - People who used a Facebook account in the U.S. between 2007 and 2022 may be eligible to receive money after its parent company, Meta, agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging it shared users' data without their consent.
The case sprang from 2018 revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a firm with ties to former President Trump's political strategist Steve Bannon, had paid a Facebook app developer for access to the personal information of about 87 million users of the platform. That data was then used to target U.S. voters during the 2016 campaign that culminated in Trump’s election as the 45th president.
Meta agreed to settle the suit in December for $725 million, and has expressly denied any liability or wrongdoing.
The California tech giant said in a statement that it pursued a settlement because it was in the best interest of its community and shareholders.
Those who may now be able to get cash include all U.S. Facebook users on the site between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022.
The claim is only valid if a person resided in America during the entirety of that time.
It is not known yet how much money individual users may get as part of the payout. That depends on how many people submit valid claims and how long a user was on Facebook during that period.
A final approval hearing is not scheduled until Sept. 7, and the eligible funds will not be released until after a court decides to approve the settlement.
The claim form must be submitted no later than Aug. 25. It can be submitted online or via mail to the settlement administrator.
Those who are eligible may also choose to opt-out of the settlement and receive no payment, allowing them to sue or be a part of another lawsuit related these allegations.
Unless a user has opted out, they are automatically part of the settlement. However, users who do nothing will not get a payment from the settlement and will give up the right to sue, continue to sue or be a part of another lawsuit related to these claims.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.