- Posted by Barrington Hills
- On September 23, 2020
Illinois residents can now apply for up to $400 from massive Facebook privacy settlement
By Katie Surma | Chicago Tribune | September 22, 2020
Illinois Facebook users can apply to get between $200 and $400 from the social media company as part of a $650 million class-action settlement over alleged violations of a state privacy law.
Users will be notified of the settlement beginning Wednesday via email and on Facebook, according to court documents. The deadline to file a claim is Nov. 23. To receive an award, people must apply and can do so by mail or at the website http://www.facebookbipaclassaction.com/.
Facebook users located in Illinois for whom the company created and stored a “face template” between June 7, 2011, and Aug. 19 may qualify, according to the terms of the settlement, which received preliminary approval from a California federal court last month.
While U.S. District Judge James Donato gave preliminary approval to the settlement Aug. 19, users may not receive payment until next year, according to Gilardi and Co., a claims administration firm involved in the settlement. The firm said on the claims website payments are usually made two months after the court gives final approval. A hearing for final approval is scheduled for Jan. 7.
Not all of the $650 million will go to class members. Settlement administration expenses, taxes, and attorneys fees will be paid out first. The amount users receive will depend on the number of claims filed.
As part of the settlement, Facebook agreed to set its face recognition default user setting to “off” and to delete all face templates for affected users unless the company obtains consent after disclosing how it plans to use the images.
The legal dispute dates back to 2015, when lead plaintiff Carlo Licata of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging the company violated Illinois state law governing biometric privacy.
The suit alleged the social media company collected and stored scans of users’ faces without prior notice or consent as part of its “tag suggestions” program. Illinois law prohibits businesses from collecting biometric data, such as fingerprints and facial images, without consent. Facebook denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
Facebook initially agreed to pay $550 million to settle the case, but that arrangement was rejected by Judge Donato in June. The company later agreed to increase the amount of the settlement to $650 million.