What you need to know
- Facebook's parent company, Meta, has agreed to pay $90 million to settle a decade-old privacy suit.
- The social networking giant was accused of following users online in 2010 and 2011 by using tracking cookies even when they were signed out of their accounts.
- The case was previously dismissed three times, but in 2020, a federal appeals court upheld the lawsuit.
Privacy complaints appear to have become so common for Facebook in recent years that hearing the service pay large sums of money to settle lawsuits almost never sounds surprising. In 2020, the company paid $650 million to settle a lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology.
Now, a decade-old privacy lawsuit will cost Facebook's parent company, Meta, $90 million (via Variety). The company has agreed to settle the class action suit filed back in 2012, accusing Facebook of tracking users on the web even after they signed out of their accounts across various platforms, including Android phones and PCs.
"Reaching a settlement in this case, which is more than a decade old, is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders and we're glad to move past this issue," a Meta spokesperson told Variety.
The social networking site was accused of following the browsing history of users in 2010 and 2011 beyond the platform using tracking cookies, overstepping its limitations. Facebook had won court battles three times, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived the case in 2020.
While users consented to being tracked while logged into their Facebook accounts, the platform was supposed to stop tracking activity when they logged out, according to the end-user licensing agreement. However, Facebook violated the terms of the agreement.
The lawsuit is pending approval by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. As Variety notes, the settlement would be one of the 10 biggest penalties related to user privacy violation in the country, if approved.
As part of the settlement, Meta will also sequester and remove all of the data involved in this case.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
And the lawyers will enjoy the spoils.
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