Facebook agrees to pay a $725 million settlement

The popular social media company Meta, the parent company of the popular website Facebook, agreed to pay $725 million to settle a long-running lawsuit, accusing it of allowing Cambridge Analytica and other third parties to access private user information and mislead users about its privacy practices.

The proposed settlement ends the legal battle that began about 4 years ago, when the company revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a British data analytics company, had obtained the private information of some 87 million users on the popular site and had worked with former US President Donald Trump’s campaign.

The data leak sparked a major global crisis for Facebook, leading to further audits by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

The lawsuit included obtaining millions of pages of documents from Facebook, along with others related to the crisis, and dozens of current and former Facebook employees were also heard.

Users who reached the settlement with Facebook said the agreement was the largest refund ever achieved in a data privacy class action and the “largest amount ever paid by Facebook to resolve a private class action.”

Users estimated that between 250 million and 280 million people might be entitled to payment as part of the settlement of the class action, while that settlement is pending approval by a judge, who is scheduled to hear the proposal in March next year.

Meta spokeswoman Dina Los said in a statement that the company sought a settlement “because it is in the interest of our community and shareholders” and noted that over the past three years, the company has renewed its approach to privacy, implemented a comprehensive privacy program, and looks forward to continuing to provide services with privacy in mind. “

The company did not acknowledge any irregularities under the settlement, and in proposing to approve the settlement, the users who sued referred to changes made by Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica hack, including restricting third-party access to user data, and improving communication to users on how to collect and share their data.

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