Illinois Facebook Settlement: How Much Could You Get and When Is the Payout Date?

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If you're a Facebook user in Illinois, you may be one of 1.42 million people eligible to receive a check as part of a 7 year, $650 million, class action lawsuit against the company.

The lawsuit alleged that Facebook broke the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act by collecting and storing biometric data -- physical characteristics -- of users without their consent through features including facial recognition technology.

Facebook users might recognize this feature as "Tag Suggestions" notifications.

According to the Settlement Administrator, checks to Class Members started going out this month.

However, in order to receive one, you would have had to file a claim by a certain date, and meet specific criteria.

Here's what you need to know.

What the Illinois Facebook Lawsuit Says, and How Facebook Responded

According to the Settlement Administrator, "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.

That law, passed in 2008, says companies are not allowed to collect, store, or give out "biometric data," which includes things like face or fingerprint scans, without first giving notice and obtaining personal consent. The act also requires companies to specify how the information would be retained, and when it would be destroyed

This case alleges that Facebook specifically broke the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act by using facial recognition technology to create face templates that can be used to identify users in photos without the proper notice and consent.

Facebook denies all allegations of wrongdoing and liability.

Facebook changed its technology in 2019, replacing the tool with a broader facial recognition setting, which was turned off by default. The website announced it would shut down its recognition software entirely in 2021.

Facebook denies all allegations of wrongdoing and liability.

Are You Eligible to Receive a Payout?

According to the settlement website, “Facebook users located in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011” are elgible for a payout.

To have filed a valid claim under the Settlement, you must have lived in the State of Illinois for a period of at least 183 days (6 months).

The deadline to file a claim form was November 23, 2020.

How Much Money Will I Get?

If you believe you are a Class Member and you filed a claim by the deadline, you should receive approximately $200 to $400 per person from the $650 million Settlement Fund, the settlement website states.

More specifically, the document titled "Order re: Final Approval, Attorneys' Fees and Costs, And Incentive Awards" dated Feb. 26, 2021 states that "it is one the largest settlements ever for a privacy violation, and it will put at least $345 into the hands of every class member interested in being compensated."

When Will I Receive My Check?

Payments started getting mailed out to members on May 9, 2022.

The website states it will take about two weeks to finish mailing the checks and processing the electronic payments.

More information can be found about the lawsuit here.

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