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Facebook settles class-action lawsuit
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Facebook is mailing out $350 settlement checks – Can you expect one?

When a group of people suffers similar physical or financial injuries, and fault can be placed with one company, they can join together to file a claim. The class-action lawsuit may go to trial, but many are settled before it gets to that point. Awards are divided among members of the case.

Intuit, the parent company of tax preparation software Turbo Tax, recently agreed to pay $141 million to more than 4 million of its customers. Tap or click here to check out the story and see if you are eligible for compensation.

Facebook has settled a seven-year class-action suit claiming the social network collected and stored the biometric data of users without their consent. Read on for the whole story and details about the payments.

Facial recognition without consent

With Facebook, you can tag people you know in photos, so it appears on their timeline and profile. Others who see the tag can tap or click on that person and get linked to their profile.

Sometimes Facebook connects a face to a name using facial recognition and suggests you tag that person. This has been a hot-button issue for privacy, as highlighted by the recent class-action lawsuit against Facebook.

Facebook users in Illinois sued the social network, claiming Tag Suggestions and other features that use facial recognition violated the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, or BIPA, according to the settlement website.

The law, which passed in 2008, establishes standards for how companies can handle Illinois residents’ biometric data. According to the ACLU of Illinois, the company must inform users in writing when the data is being collected and how long it will be collected, stored and used.

The company must obtain written consent from users. Biometric information includes retina or iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, hand scans, facial geometry and DNA.

The case against Facebook alleges that identifying users for the purposes of tag suggestions is covered by BIPA and that no notice or consent was given. Facebook denies any wrongdoing but has agreed to pay $650 million to 1.4 million Illinois residents.

Are you eligible for compensation?

Facebook records were used to determine who is a “Class Member” and part of the lawsuit. The court determined this includes “Facebook users located in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011.”

To receive payment, you must have lived in Illinois for at least 183 days (or six months) after June 11, 2011. Class Members should have received notice through email or on Facebook.

The deadline to file a claim form was Nov. 23, 2020. If you didn’t file by that date, you are not eligible to receive payment.

Payments started being sent to members on May 9, 2022. According to the settlement website FAQ, it will take two weeks to finish mailing the checks and processing electronic payments.

If you’re unsure about your part in the settlement, you can call the Settlement Administrator at 1-844-799-2417.

The court document titled “Order re: Final Approval, Attorneys’ Fees and Costs, And Incentive Awards” states that this is “one the largest settlements ever for a privacy violation, and it will put at least $345 into the hands of every class member interested in being compensated.”

How to find class actions you may qualify for

You may not always be notified that you are a potential member of a class-action lawsuit, or you could miss it. There are online resources to search for settlements, join a pending action or make a claim. Here are some to get you started:

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