Facebook class action lawsuit settlement: Who’s eligible, how to file claim

Class action lawsuit tied to personal data used by third-party apps

The Facebook app, center, is shown on a mobile phone screen, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in New York. Facebook parent Meta is reinstating former President Donald Trump's personal account after two-year suspension following the Jan. 6 insurrection, adding "new guardrails" to ensure there are no "repeat offenders" who violate its rules. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (Richard Drew, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

If you were using Facebook between 2007 and 2022, you could be eligible for payment from a massive class action lawsuit settlement.

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has agreed to pay $725 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the social media giant allowed personal user data to be shared with third parties, like Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that worked on behalf of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

A judge tentatively approved the settlement in March, with final approval expected later this year. But Facebook users don’t have to wait to file a claim.

Here’s what Facebook users need to know about the settlement and eligibility:

Who’s eligible?

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 from a Class Action Settlement.

How to file a claim

The only way to receive a cash payment from this Settlement is by submitting a timely and properly completed Claim Form that obtains approval from the Settlement Administrator. The Claim Form must be submitted no later than August 25, 2023.

You can submit your Claim Form online or download the Claim Form and mail it to the Settlement Administrator. You may also call the Settlement Administrator to receive a paper copy of the Claim Form.

If your claim is approved by the Settlement Administrator, you will give up the right to sue the Defendant in a separate lawsuit about the legal claims or factual allegations this Settlement resolves. For more information see FAQ 10.

You can choose to opt-out of the Settlement and receive no payment. This option allows you to sue, continue to sue, or be part of another lawsuit against the Defendant related to the legal claims and factual allegations resolved by this Settlement. You can choose to hire your own legal counsel at your own expense. For more information see FAQ 16.

How much will payment be for users?

The answer depends on how many Settlement Class Members submit valid claims and how long you were a user on Facebook during the Class Period.

First, the total amount distributed will be the Settlement Fund minus the Administrative Costs, any amount awarded by the Court as fees and costs to Class Counsel, and any Service Awards to the Settlement Class Representatives. The resulting amount is called the “Net Settlement Fund.” The Net Settlement Fund is the amount of money available to be distributed to Settlement Class Members.

Next, the Net Settlement Fund will be allocated to Settlement Class Members who submit valid claims, also called “Authorized Claimants.” The Settlement Administrator will assign each Authorized Claimant one point for each month in which the Authorized Claimant had an activated Facebook account during the Class Period.

After the deadline for submitting a claim (Aug. 25, 2023), the Settlement Administrator will add up all the points assigned to all the Authorized Claimants and divide the Net Settlement Amount by that number. The result will be the amount of the Net Settlement Fund available for each point. Each Authorized Claimant will receive that per-point amount multiplied by the number of points they were assigned.

When will payments be allocated?

The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing for the Settlement of this case on September 7, 2023 at 1 p.m. PDT to consider: (1) whether to approve the Settlement; (2) any objections to the Settlement or any of its terms submitted to the Court; (3) the requests for awards to the Settlement Class Representatives; and (4) the request for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs to Class Counsel for their work in this litigation. If the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether appeals will be filed and, if so, how long it will take to resolve them. Settlement payments will be distributed as soon as possible if the Court grants Final Approval of the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved.

The briefs and declarations in support of the Final Approval of the Settlement and the requests described above will be posted on this website, after they are filed. You may ask to appear at the Final Approval Hearing but you do not have to appear. The date and time of the Final Approval Hearing is also subject to modification by the Court. Please review the Settlement Website for any updated information regarding the Final Approval Hearing.

Find more FAQs on the settlement and claims here.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.