Facebook Settlement Follows Data Misuse & Browser Tracking
The Lyon Firm is involved in various data privacy litigation nationwide, and is investigating illegal data collection and internet browser tracking lawsuits. The recent Facebook settlement underscores the need for more stringent consumer privacy laws and tech accountability.
Facebook (Meta) has agreed to settle an old data privacy lawsuit for $90 million. The original complaint was filed back in 2012, with 21 related total cases in all, alleging that Facebook tracked its users even after they logged out of Facebook.
The plaintiffs’ alleged Facebook used cookies and other browser tracking apps to follow consumers and save information about its users’ activity on other websites and then sold the data to advertisers.
The complaint alleges that Facebook violated federal and state privacy laws, as well as wiretapping laws, by tracking users on unaffiliated websites. The attorneys argued that Facebook unlawfully compiled and sold consumer data, including browsing histories, for purposes of targeted advertising.
This case was initially dismissed in 2017, then reinstated it in 2020. The courts ultimately decided that plaintiffs could prove privacy violations, citing Facebook’s profits originating from illegal practices.
The Facebook settlement agreement covers a specific time period: Facebook users who visited third-party websites in the United States between April 22, 2010 and September 26, 2011. Those eligible can submit a claim.
In the settlement, Facebook will have to delete all the user data that it collected unlawfully and establish a $90-million fully non-revisionary settlement fund.
If the Facebook settlement is approved, it will become one of the largest data privacy class action settlements in the United States.
Meta has faced other privacy-related legal trouble, which resulted in a 2019 $5 billion Facebook settlement with the FTC, and a 2022 lawsuit by Texas Attorney General against Facebook, alleging that it collected facial recognition data and captured users’ biometric information without their consent.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission have said that they will be paying more attention to privacy and cybersecurity issues in 2022.
If you have experienced personal privacy violations due to browser tracking, data collection, data misuse or data theft, contact The Lyon Firm for a free case review.