Meta has agreed to pay $725 million to settle class-action claims that it violated users’ privacy by sharing their information with outside developers, including Cambridge Analytica.
The deal provides for people who held Facebook accounts between May 24, 2007 and and December 22, 2022 to seek monetary damages from the settlement fund. The class size is estimated to range between 250 million and 280 million people.
The settlement will resolve a legal battle stemming from revelations that the defunct right-wing political consultancy, which was used by former President Donald Trump, harvested information from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge or explicit consent.
Cambridge Analytica obtained the information from researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who gathered the data in 2014 through the personality quiz app thisisyourdigitallife.
Only 270,000 Facebook users downloaded Kogan’s app, but he reportedly collected data from up to 87 million of those people’s Facebook friends.
Facebook users sued the company in 2018, soon after reports about Cambridge Analytica first surfaced. While the claims initially centered on Cambridge Analytica, they were later expanded to include allegations that Facebook shared users’ data with a broad array of outside developers, including the video provider Netflix.
The users claimed Facebook, now named Meta Platforms, violated California privacy law, the federal wiretap law and the federal video privacy law.
This is not the first time. In 2019, Meta agreed to a $5 billion settlement with the US FTC, which alleged that Meta violated a 2012 order by allowing Cambridge Analytica and other outside developers access to users’ data.