Facebook-parent company, Meta has agreed to an amount of $90 million to settle its decade-long suit. The data privacy lawsuit over its utilisation of cookies had been long-running since 2010. Facebook was accused of using cookies to track the internet use of the users even though they were logged off.
The settlement was give in for review on Monday, February 14th to the US District Court for Northern District of California. The agreement is still subject to the approval of the district court.
The $90 million to be distributed would be done so among the plaintiffs. These plaintiffs will have to submit verified claims that were actually impacted by the web tracking conducted by Facebook at the time.
If finally agreed upon, the settlement would end up ranking as one of the top 10 American settlements based on data privacy. On the other hand, it is still mere compared to the $650 million class action litigation settlement of Facebook. This was approved in 2021 in which Facebook was accused of violating the privacy of its users through a tag-suggestion feature.
Along with the amount mentioned in the settlement, Facebook has stepped forward to delete and confiscate all the collected data at order. The case was initially filed in 2012 and revolved around the use of in-site cookies or browser plug ins by Facebook. The tracking went all the way to the third-party sites which the users had then visited. Despite having promised to only track them while logged in, Facebook kept check even after they had logged off.
Spokespeople from Meta being satisfied with the settlement, agreed that having reached at this point for this ten year-old case is the what is desired by the Meta community. The executive and shareholders at Meta were glad to have reached the juncture where they can move past the data-privacy case.
Before going to the Court of Appeals, the case had gone to trial court trice for a stretch of seven years. A split on the issue was seen in the lower federal courts. In conclusion to the 9th circuit, it was ruled out that data collection of the users needed the actual consent of the users. The decision stood despite Facebook having appealed to the Supreme Court for review.
“We are grateful to the Ninth Circuit for its watershed ruling, and to Facebook for negotiating this resolution in good faith,” David Straite, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs and partner at DiCello Levitt Gutzler, said in a statement. “This settlement not only repairs harm done to Facebook users but sets a precedent for the future disposition of such matters.”