The social media giant, Facebook, will pay over half a billion dollars to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged systematic violation of an Illinois consumer privacy law. The settlement amount is large indeed, but a small fraction of the $35 billion maximum the company could have faced.
Class members — basically Illinois Facebook users from mid-2011 to mid-2015 — may expect as much as $200 each, but that depends on several factors. If you’re one of them you should receive some notification once the settlement is approved by the court and the formalities are worked out.
The proposed settlement would require Facebook to obtain consent in the future from Illinois users for such purposes as face analysis for automatic tagging.
This is the second major settlement from Facebook in six months; a seemingly enormous $5 billion settlement of FTC violations was announced over the summer, but it’s actually a bit of a joke.