Deadline looming for Facebook’s $725M settlement; how to get your money

There’s less than a month left for you to cash in on the $725 million privacy settlement Meta agreed to last year.

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The Facebook parent company is settling a lawsuit because it allowed users’ personal information to be sent to Cambridge Analytica, The Associated Press reported.

The data firm was connected to former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign through his political strategist Steve Bannon. Cambridge Analytica paid a Facebook app developer for access to the personal information of about 87 million Facebook users that was then used to target U.S. voters, the AP reported.

CNBC and NBC News reported the British-based company also helped the campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other candidates.

The case led to Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying in front of members of Congress.

Despite agreeing with the settlement, Meta contends it did nothing wrong, The Hill reported.

“We pursued a settlement as it’s in the best interest of our community and shareholders,” a Meta spokesperson said in the past, according to NBC News.

Still, Zuckerberg took out full-page ads saying, “I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” CNBC and NBC News reported.

The deadline to apply for a share of the hundreds of millions of dollars is Aug. 25. Users are entitled to a portion if they used Facebook between May 24, 2007 and Dec. 22, 2022. To apply, all you have to do is fill out a form found online and either submit digitally or print and mail it.

Even if you deleted your Facebook account you may also be eligible, but the payout will depend on how long you were active during that period of time, The Hill reported.

The amount of money each person will get has not been announced but the larger number of people claiming their share will lower the actual amount everyone receives. Lawsuit fees will also be deducted from the $725 million total, then, what’s left over will be shared among claimants.

The final settlement hearing is scheduled for Sept. 7. Payments won’t be sent until after the court date, The Hill reported.

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