by: Alix Martichoux
(NEXSTAR) – Facebook users still have a few weeks to claim their piece of a $725 million settlement Meta agreed to pay to resolve a lawsuit. Ex-Facebook users can get in on the action too, as long as they meet a few criteria.
The main requirement is that you had a Facebook account for any time between May 24, 2007, and Dec. 22, 2022. You also need to have been a United States resident during that period of time.
Even people who deleted their Facebook account qualify – they’re just likely to see a smaller payout. How big your check ends up being depends in part on how long your account was active.
People have until Aug. 25, 2023 to file a claim, either online or by mail.
After the deadline passes, a judge will need to give the settlement final approval. That hearing is set for Sept. 7.
If the settlement gets the final OK, it’s not yet clear when the payments will be sent out – but you might not need to wait for a check in the mail. When submitting your claim, you can fill out your Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, or direct deposit info to get your payment sent straight to your account.
It’s also not clear how much each eligible recipient will get. Legal fees and administrative costs need to be deducted first. The remaining amount will be divvied up among eligible Facebook users, but we don’t know how many people have submitted a claim.
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 said that based on similar cases he estimated the higher end of payments might be in the “triple digits.” Many more people will likely receive less than $100, he estimated.
Earlier this year, Meta agreed to settle the lawsuit claiming Facebook allowed users’ personal data to be shared with third parties, the most famous being Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that supported Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The firm harvested the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users, the Associated Press reported.