Were you a US-based Facebook user between May 24 2007 and December 22 2022?
If so, I've got some good news for you.
You can now apply for a portion of the US $725 million that Meta (the new name that Facebook chose for itself in 2021, after years of brand-damaging scandals) owes you for the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
In December last year, Facebook owner Meta agreed to cough up US $725 million to settle a data privacy class action, after it was found Facebook had allowed millions of users' personal data to be harvested by third parties without the individuals' consent.
Cambridge Analytica harvested the profiles of 87 million Facebook users, and targeted them in an attempt to encourage them to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential election.
Understandably, the unmasking of Cambridge Analytica's activities made headlines around the world and resulted in Facebook investing in expensive efforts to reassure its users that it took security and privacy seriously.
Although for some the Cambridge Analytica scandal may feel like years ago, the impact of the case rumbles on.
For instance, in May 2022, it was announced that CC Attorney General Karl Racine had sued Meta CEO and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, considering him personally responsible for what had happened.
Meanwhile Zuckerberg's Meta settled the class action against it last year for US $725 million. It did not, however, admit any wrongdoing, and continued to insist that it has revamped the way it protects its users privacy.
So how can you, a regular person, get your share of that US $725 million?
Well, if you were a Facebook user in the United States between 2007 and 2022 you could do a lot worse than submit your claim.
All you have to do is visit facebookuserprivacysettlement.com and complete the claim form available there - submitting your details either online or printing out the form and popping it in the post.
However, American Facebook users don't have forever. To be in with a chance to receive a cash payment from the settlement, you have to submit your fully-completed claim no later than 25 August 2023.
So, you may very well think it's worth making a claim. But you should perhaps manage your expectations of just how much money you'll receive if you're successful.
If we accept that 87 million Facebook users had their private information shared with others as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and Meta has been ordered to cough up US $725 million. That is equivalent to approximately eight dollars each.
That's a very rudimentary calculation, of course. The actual figure you receive will probably also depend on how many people submit claims, the extent of your Facebook usage during the period of time in question, and costs.
It's also worth noting that for Facebook's owner Meta, US $725 million is chicken feed. Especially when you compare it to the US $36 billion Meta is said to have invested in its bet on the metaverse since 2019.