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Illinois Facebook Users Can Receive Up to $400 From Privacy Settlement


Sep. 24 2020, Updated 10:56 a.m. ET

Residents of Illinois can now apply for $200 – $400 from Facebook because of a $650 million class-action settlement. According to the Chicago Tribune, between June 7, 2011 and Aug. 19, Facebook created and stored users' face templates, which violated a state privacy law. 

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How to make a claim in the Facebook lawsuit

According to court documents, Facebook users have already started to be notified about the settlement. Users can check their Facebook accounts and email for more information. To qualify, users had to live in Illinois for at least six months. 

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Facebook users have until Nov. 23 to file a claim. Users can file a claim through a dedicated website or through the mail. There's also the option to file a complaint with the lawsuit or opt-out of it entirely to reserve the right to sue Facebook at a later date.

How is a class action lawsuit paid out?

Users who are rewarded money from the settlement may not see it until next year. Gilardi and Co., a claims administration firm involved in the settlement, said that a hearing for final approval is scheduled for January 7, 2021. Usually, payments are made two months later. 

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According to classaction.org, class members or those who are affected by allegations in a class-action lawsuit are required to claim their reward. Class members have to go on a dedicated website and fill out a claim questionaire. Class member who don't complete the questionaire won't see any of the compensation from the lawsuit. 

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USA Today said that most checks received from a class-action lawsuit are valid for 180 days or six months. 

Previous Facebook lawsuits

This isn't the first legal bind Facebook has been in due to privacy concerns. In the Fraley vs. Facebook case from 2011, Facebook used images of its users in Sponsored Story ads. According to Forbes, users weren't able to opt-out of the ads and they lacked context. Users looked like they could be promoting things they weren't. In the end, the settlement offered users $10. 

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The Lane vs. Facebook case came about because of a program Facebook started. According to findlaw.com, the program called Beacon displayed information on their Facebook profiles that users may have wanted to keep private. Facebook said it was meant to show people's Facebook friends what they do on other websites.

Users said that Facebook never directly asked for their consent to opt-in to the program. As a result, things users may have wanted to keep private were displayed on Facebook timelines. A group of 19 people got together and claimed that the program violated their privacy rights. 

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The case resulted in the creation of the Digital Trust Foundation. Also, Facebook's Beacon program was terminated. 

What is Facebook's stock price today?

After a drop in the price last weekend, Facebook's stock sits at just over $249 on Thursday, Sept. 24. According to Forbes, Facebook stock has been dropping over the past month. The stock has dropped close to 20 percent in September alone dut to a "larger sell-off in the technology industry."


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