Facebook has agreed to pay $90 million to resolve a decade-old privacy complaint accusing the company of tracking users’ online activities even after they log off of the social networking platform.
A preliminary settlement proposal has been filed with the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, and must be approved by a judge.
Additionally, the agreement requires Facebook to remove data it improperly collected.
Meta Platforms Inc (FB.O) has been accused of violating privacy rules by utilizing plug-ins to store cookies that followed users when they visited websites with Facebook “like” buttons outside of Meta Platforms Inc. (FB).O.).
Then, according to reports, Facebook gathered individuals’ surfing habits into profiles that it sold to advertisers.
A federal appeals court reopened the lawsuit in April 2020, stating that Facebook profited unlawfully and breached the privacy of its users, notwithstanding the dismissal of the case in June 2017.
Facebook then tried to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case, but failed.
According to settlement papers, the company denied wrongdoing but agreed to avoid the expense and hazards associated with a trial.
Settlement “is in the best interests of our community and shareholders, and we’re relieved to have resolved this,” Meta spokesperson Drew Pusateri said in an email.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers want to seek $26.1 million in legal fees from the settlement money, or 29% of the total. In February 2012, the complaint was filed.
As part of a settlement with the United States Federal Trade Commission, which included a $5 billion fine, it committed to strengthen privacy safeguards in July 2019.
Facebook users in the United States who visited non-Facebook websites that displayed Facebook’s “like” button between April 22, 2010, and September 26, 2011, are included in the settlement.
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