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Facebook may owe you a $400 settlement check – here’s how to find out

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The other day on Twitter, a business owner decided to ask his followers one of those questions designed to spark interaction and engagement: “What’s the weirdest way you’ve ever made money?” One response brought up Facebook, but not in the way you might think.

Rather than via something like the social network’s Marketplace tool, the Twitter user answered, “Facebook just sent me a check for $400 for being creepy with my data as part of some class action thing.”

What’s more, many of you out there might be able to say the same thing soon. That’s because settlement checks for $397 are going out right now, and we’ve got all the details below. Including what this is for, who should receive one, and when.

Facebook settlement check

This umpteenth Facebook scandal stems from a law in Illinois called the Biometric Privacy Act. A Chicago news article explains that, because of the law, “companies are not allowed to collect, store, or give out biometric data, which includes things like face or fingerprint scans, without first giving notice and obtaining personal consent.”

You only need just a passing familiarity with Facebook and the way it operates to understand that, yes, not only was the social networking giant sued as a result of this law. But the litigation turned into a giant class-action lawsuit. One that resulted in, among other things, Facebook setting up a $650 million fund to compensate a little more than 1 million people.

A close-up of a person opening a wallet with cash
A close-up of a person opening a wallet with cash. Image source: photoniko/Adobe

“Facebook and the Class Representatives spent more than five years in Court fighting this case,” the settlement website reads. “Shortly before trial, both sides agreed to a settlement. The Settlement gives Class Members guaranteed payments now whereas in a trial, Class Members might get nothing or might get payments only years from now. Because there is a settlement, the Court has not decided who should win the case.”

Fast facts about the class action:

  • The settlement class includes Facebook users in Illinois who appeared in a picture uploaded to Facebook after June 7, 2011.
  • Settlement recipients needed to have filed a claim form by November 23, 2020.
  • As far as what’s happening now? Settlement checks have just started going out.

When will your settlement check arrive?

Facebook class action update: “The Settlement Administrator began sending settlement payments to class members on May 9, 2022. It will take about two weeks to finish mailing the checks and processing the electronic payments. If you are expecting a payment but haven’t yet received it, we ask that you wait until mid-June before making an inquiry.”

This litigation, by the way, is but the latest in a string of headaches mounting at CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s scandal-plagued empire. Just a few days ago, an all-new suit was filed targeting the social networking company. It came from Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine, about which he had this to say:

“We’re suing Mark Zuckerberg for his role in Facebook’s misleading privacy practices and failure to protect millions of users’ data. Our investigation shows extensive evidence that Zuckerberg was personally involved in failures that led to the Cambridge Analytica incident.”

Andy Meek profile photo

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.