After Meta, the company behind Facebook and other social media sites, recently agreed to pay out $725 million to settle claims that it violated users’ privacy by sharing data with third parties, some wondered if they could be receiving a life changing amount of money.
Unfortunately, most users shouldn’t hold their breath, since that $725 million needs to be divided up among a huge group of people, 17 million and climbing.
In a court hearing on the suit Thursday, class counsel revealed that more than 28 million claims were filed before the deadline passed in August. About 17 million of those claims have been preliminarily validated thus far.
While the settlement amount is huge, even after attorneys’ fees and administrative costs, because there are so many eligible recipients, lawyers for the plaintiffs told Judge Vince Chhabria that they expected the median payment to be around $30 dollars.
It is worth noting that not everyone will receive the same sized payment. Anyone in the U.S. who had an active Facebook account between May 2007 and December 2022 qualifies, but the longer a user had an account, the more money they can expect to receive.
The payouts will work on a point system, with one point given for every month a user’s Facebook account was active during the time period.
While the size of payments will likely vary, odds are that at most a user can expect less than $50, meaning that the payout won’t make or break your monthly budget.
On Thursday, Chhabria gave the lawyers representing the plaintiffs another week to file some additional documents with the court. Once the judge gives the settlement final approval, then users will be one step closer to their payments; but should appeals occur, they could be delayed even further.
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