Fact Check: Does Facebook owe you money, or is it a scam?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Does Facebook owe you some money, or is someone trying to swindle you?

A lot of people are wondering after receiving a notification on their Facebook page out of the blue. It tells them they may be part of a class action lawsuit.

The notification appeared to millions of Facebook users throughout the United States last week. It says you might be entitled to payment from a settlement of a lawsuit. To find out more about the details, you’re advised to click on the tab.

But, is it legit? The short answer is – yes. 

News10NBC tracked down the class action lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in California in 2018. It alleges that Facebook allowed users’ personal data to be shared with third parties, but didn’t monitor how that data was accessed or shared. Among the third parties mentioned in the lawsuit is Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that used the data for targeted political advertising during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Facebook denies it violated any wrongdoing. But, after years of court proceedings, the company agreed to settle for a total of $725 million. If you were a Facebook user in the U.S. between May 24, 2007, and December 22, 2022, you may be among the more than 100 million people eligible.

So, how do you know if you qualify? Go to the notification and click on “view settlement details.” That will take you to a privacy settlement webpage. There you will find a link to a claim form. The deadline to file a claim is August 25. You can also opt out.

How much can you expect to get from the settlement? That will depend on how many people file claims and how long you were a Facebook user. But before any of that $725 million is doled out, the lawyers will get paid first. So don’t expect it to be a big chunk of money.

A final approval hearing is scheduled for September 7. If there are no appeals filed, eligible claimants will get paid sometime shortly after that.