Facebook users, if you had a profile on the social media site in 2010 or 2011, you may be eligible for part of a $90 million payout from a lawsuit accusing Facebook of.
You'll need to act soon, though -- the deadline for filing a claim is Sept. 22, 2022.
The plaintiffs in the case, Davis v. Facebook, allege the company was aware it violated privacy, communications and wiretap laws -- and its own contract -- by tracking logged-out users to sites that had a Facebook "Like" button on them.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals determined in 2020 that Facebook profiting from the sale of users' data constituted a breach of privacy causing economic harm. When the US Supreme Court declined to review the case in March 2021, settlement negotiations began.
In June, a district court in California gave preliminary approval for a class-action settlement that includes the $90 million payout and a promise by Facebook that it would delete any improperly collected data.
Read on to find out whether you're eligible for money from Facebook, plus how much you could receive and when.
For more on class action cases, find out if you qualify for money from T-Mobile's $350 million data breach case or Apple's $14.8 Million iCloud storage settlement.
What is Facebook accused of in the data-tracking lawsuit?
The plaintiffs allege that Facebook tracked people's activities on external websites, even when they were signed out of their Facebook accounts, by installing cookies on users' computers.
In a 2011 suit filed in US District Court in San Jose, California, they claimed such monitoring violated the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, among other statutes.
That year, Facebook disclosed that it personalized content by placing cookies onto users' computers that remained active even when they were logged out. The companyat the time that it quickly removed uniquely identifying data from post-logout cookies and that it didn't store or use data from cookies for tracking.
But according to the lawsuit, "This admission came only after an Australian technology blogger exposed Facebook's practice of monitoring members who have logged out, although he brought the problems to the defendant's attention a year ago."
Facebook parent Meta Platforms didn't respond to a request for comment though, according to the settlement, it "expressly denies any liability or wrongdoing whatsoever."
Who is eligible to receive money in the Facebook settlement?
US Facebook users who, between April 22, 2010, and Sept. 25, 2011, visited websites that displayed the Facebook "Like" button are eligible to be recipients, or "class members," in the case.
When is the deadline to file a claim in the Facebook settlement?
The claims administrator, Angeion, has already emailed eligible class members. If you received a personalized notice in the mail or via email, go to the claims site and enter the Notice ID and Confirmation Code you were provided with.
If you believe you're eligible but weren't contacted, you can also file a claim on your own -- but the deadline is Sept. 22, 2022.
Individuals who want to reserve the right to file their own lawsuit have until Sept. 12 to opt out of the settlement. If you do nothing, you won't get a payment and you'll give up the right to sue or be part of another lawsuit relating to the case.
How much money could you receive?
The court has scheduled a final approval hearing on Oct. 27, 2022, in San Jose, California, where it will consider whether the $90 million settlement is "fair, reasonable, and adequate."
It isn't yet clear how many class members there will be or how much each individual will receive.
In 2021,to a suit that alleged it broke Illinois' biometric laws by collecting and storing users' physical characteristics without their consent. Nearly 1.6 million Facebook users in the state each received $397 payouts.
When will Facebook settlement checks go out?
Checks will go out at some point after the court makes a final decision about the settlement in the final hearing on Oct. 27. But there may be appeals that delay the process.
"It is always uncertain whether appeals will be filed and, if so, how long it will take to resolve them," according to the settlement site. "Settlement payments will be distributed as soon as possible."