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Social media

Facebook may owe you money — here’s how to claim it

Last year, Facebook settled a $650 million lawsuit with Illinois residents for storing and collecting their biometric data without consent. Here’s how much money people received.

The social media juggernaut just agreed to another settlement. This one’s for $725 million following numerous lawsuits claiming the platform violated users’ privacy. Here’s what you need to know and how to get paid.

What Facebook did wrong (no surprises here)

The lawsuits allege that Facebook shared user data and data on their friends with third parties, including app developers, business partners, advertisers and data brokers. The company allegedly did this without permission and failed to monitor or enforce how third parties accessed the data or what they did with it. 

How much can you get paid?

That depends on a couple of things: How many people submit claims and how long you had an account on the platform. The settlement will distribute “points” for every month you had an account between May 24, 2007, and Dec. 22, 2022, and split the money (after lawyers’ fees, of course) based on those numbers.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers said about 250 million to 280 million people might be eligible for payments as part of the class action settlement. Don’t expect a financial windfall.

How to sign up

You must submit a claim by Aug. 25, 2023, to receive a payment from the settlement. This form takes just a couple of minutes to fill out

If you had a Facebook account during the effective dates of the lawsuit, you are automatically part of the settlement. If you do nothing, you will not get paid and give up the right to sue, continue to sue, or be part of another lawsuit against Facebook related to these legal claims.

You can also opt out of the settlement if you want to sue Facebook yourself, or you can object to the settlement. To exclude yourself from the settlement, you may submit a completed and signed opt-out request online or by U.S. mail to this address.  

Facebook’s deep pockets

While it’s nice to see Facebook get sued, how much can the money hurt a company worth half a trillion dollars?

Meta’s still collecting data while you use Facebook and watching your activity when you click away to other websites. Lesson learned? Not likely.

If you haven’t already, we suggest you delete your Facebook account. If you want to keep it, take some precautions with your account. You’ll find detailed steps for both options below.

RELATED: PSA: Stop sharing your phone’s address book with apps that ask for it

Delete Facebook

You probably have photos and videos on Facebook that can’t be found anywhere else. Think of media you’re tagged in or images you posted that are no longer on your phone. Here’s how to take them with you.

Once you’ve downloaded your photos, contact information and any other data you want, it’s time to say goodbye to Facebook for good:

  • From your desktop, log into Facebook and click your profile in the top-right.
  • Go to Settings & Privacy > Settings.
  • Select Your Facebook Information in the left column.
  • Click Deactivation and deletion.
  • Select Delete account, then Continue to account deletion.
  • Click Delete account and enter your password, then click Continue.

You have 30 days to change your mind about deleting your account. After that time passes, you can’t take it back. To cancel the deletion process, log in to your Facebook account and click Cancel Deletion.

Lock it down

We understand if you’re not ready. You have a lot of history on Facebook, which could be the only means to communicate with some people.

Here are some ways to take back your privacy:

Disconnect Off-Facebook Activity and delete it

When you visit a website or use an app, it may share your data with Facebook. This is used for targeted advertising and suggestions on the Facebook platform. You can review, delete and disable this setting.

  • Click your profile in the top right of Facebook.
  • Select Settings & Privacy > Settings.
  • Click Your Facebook Information from the left column.
  • Click Off-Facebook activity to review. From here, click Recent activity for more information. You’ll be asked to enter your password.
  • Click Clear History to delete your history so far.
  • Click Manage Future Activity. From here, toggle Disconnect future activity to disable the feature.

Keep Facebook from tracking you

You can stop Facebook from tracking your activity with your iPhone:

  • Open Settings, scroll down to your apps and select Facebook.
  • Slide the toggle next to Allow Tracking to the left to disable it.

Tap or click here for more Facebook privacy settings you need to change right now.

Keep reading

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