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Meta To Pay $90 Million To Settle Facebook Data Privacy Lawsuit

Last Updated : 22 Sep, 2023
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Decade long case finally comes to an end when Meta agreed to pay $90 Million in order to settle down the lawsuit, which claimed to track down the user activity even after logging out of the social media account. 

The privacy issue was raised in court in the year 2010-2011 whose settlement was finally submitted for approval on Monday in the U.S District Court, Northern District of California. Now the only wait is for the court’s approval after which the $90 million dollars will be distributed among the people who submitted the claims proving that their privacy was hampered by Facebook’s privacy tracking issue. Once the case gets approved by the court it will come under the 10 biggest data- privacy class-action settlements ever, as per the document.

According to the lawsuit, Facebook violated the privacy policy between April 2010 to September 2011. It was claimed that Facebook wiretapped laws by tracking cookies of users for visiting third-party sites which contained “Like” buttons. Although, this is not the first case where Facebook has been alleged of doing something like this. 

Last year Facebook settled a $650 million litigation settlement, in which the tech giant was accused of hampering the privacy of its users through the feature of tagging people in the images. In line with this, Facebook also assured to delete all data related to the issue.

In the year 2012, the case was filed against Facebook due to their feature of tracking the data with proprietary browser plug-ins when the users used to visit third-party websites. Facebook did this without the consent of people thus violating the law of privacy. However, Facebook did take permission from people to track their activity while logged in but after logging out tracking data was not the case. Meta spokesperson added, 

“Reaching a settlement in this case, which is more than a decade old, is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders and we’re glad to move past this issue.”

Over the span of 7 years, Facebook has appeared 3 times in court for the trial before this case went to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The battle has now dragged on for years but still with the pending decision, there has been no conclusion. Although, researchers have found out that Facebook still collects the data contrary to its promise to stop doing the same after the lawsuit was filed.

Stephen Grygiel, one of the lead attorneys said, 

“It’s truly a wake-up call for internet and advertising companies who collect user data and use advanced browser tracking.” 

The settlement proposal also said, 

“Even before the Settlement was reached, this litigation had already profoundly improved privacy rights. The Ninth Circuit clarified that when personal data is unlawfully copied and monetized, the result is economic harm (not just privacy harm) even if the value of the data in plaintiffs’ hands does not diminish.”

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