Will Illinois Facebook Users Ever Get That Class Action Settlement?
You may have been asking yourself the same question. You took part in the class-action suit against Facebook, you were told that your side would be receiving nearly $400 each, but so far you've seen nothing.
So, what's the deal? Are you ever going to see that money? And, if you do, will you be taking a photo of yourself like these people (please, say no):
It Looks Like You Will Get A Facebook Settlement Check, But It's Going To Take Longer Than You Thought
That check from Facebook for violating Illinois law by cataloging faces without user's permission hasn't been sent out yet, and by the looks of the situation, it could still be a while.
In case you've forgotten, Facebook users in Illinois sued Facebook claiming that its “Tag Suggestions” feature and other features involving facial recognition technology, violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). That law says companies can't collect, store, or give out "biometric data," which includes things like face or fingerprint scans, without first giving notice and getting consent.
The $650 million settlement that was agreed upon allowed for payments of $200-$400 to claimants in the lawsuit, depending on the number of valid claims that were filed.
The Court Finally Decided That $345 Would Go To Each Of The 1.6 million Illinoisans Taking Part In The Lawsuit
When the settlement was announced, the criteria for receiving a payment was:
- Illinois Facebook user, located in Illinois
- Must have been a resident of Illinois for at least 183 days (six months)
- User for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011
- Claims must be filed by November 23, 2020
Greg Bishop, writing for TheCenterSquare.com, says that final approval of the settlement happened back in April of this year, but problems with dispersing the funds began when two members of the class-action suit appealed the payout, which prevents payments from being made to anyone.
What's The Bottom Line? Are You Getting The Money Or Not?
The answer is yes, but...I wouldn't make any immediate plans for the money.
Abe Scarr with Illinois Public Interest Research Group said such appeals can take time.
“That can take up to one or two years on average,” Scarr said. “I know there have been efforts to expedite the appeal but so far no success there. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait another year if not two to hopefully finally have some settlement here.”
Payments are expected to be up to $400 per person, but a fact sheet says an exact amount can’t be given. That depends on how many claims are filed and the cost of fees and other attorney expenses.