U.S. Facebook users have one more month to apply for their share of a $725 million privacy settlement that parent company Meta agreed to pay late last year.
Meta is paying to settle a lawsuit alleging the world’s largest social media platform allowed millions of its users’ personal information to be fed to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that supported Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
In this photo illustration a Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone with 100 dollar bills in the background. (Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Anyone in the U.S. who has had a Facebook account at any time between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, is eligible to receive a payment. To apply for the settlement, users can fill out a form and submit it online, or print it out and mail it. The deadline is August 25.
It’s not clear how much money individual users will receive. The larger the number of people submitting valid claims, the smaller each payment will be since the money has to be divided among them.
The case sprang from 2018 revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a firm with ties to Trump 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.
Uproar over the revelations led to a contrite Zuckerberg being grilled by U.S. lawmakers and spurred calls for people to delete their Facebook accounts.
Facebook’s growth has stalled as more people connect and entertain themselves on rival services such as TikTok, but the social network still boasts more than 2 billion users worldwide, including an estimated 250 million in the U.S.
Beyond the Cambridge Analytica case, Meta has been under fire over data privacy for some time. In May, for example, the EU slapped Meta with a record $1.3 billion fine and ordered it to stop transferring users’ personal information across the Atlantic by October. And the tech giant’s new text-based app, Threads, has not rolled out in the EU due to privacy concerns.
AP Business Writer Wyatte Grantham-Philips contributed to this report from New York.