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Some Facebook Settlement Claimants Get Rejection Notices

You can appeal, but when those eligible for a share of the $725 million privacy agreement will be paid remains unknown

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You’ll have to wait a bit longer for your chunk of the $725 million that Facebook parent Meta has agreed to shell out to settle a five-year-old class action privacy lawsuit. But some people who submitted a claim online or by mail ahead of the Aug. 25 filing deadline, including this writer, have begun receiving notices that their claims have been rejected for reasons not adequately explained. ​

“According to our records, we are unable to establish that you are a Settlement Case Member,” reads the vague notice received via email.

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When people who have submitted a claim on the settlement — relating to Facebook user data improperly shared with other companies — and haven’t received a rejection notice will be paid is still unclear. So is exactly how much they will get.

Six years after Apple admitted it had slowed down iPhone models 6 and 7 and three years after the deadline to file claims in Apple’s class action lawsuit passed, the company in August exhausted appeals of its $310 million to $500 million settlement. Those eligible for a share of the Facebook settlement were among millions of U.S. account holders on the world’s largest social network between May 24, 2007, and Dec. 22, 2022.

Class action attorney Danny Karon of Cleveland, owner of the Your Lovable Lawyer consumer website, had advised people to file their claims since “It’s found money. Never mind how much or how little you’ll get. The lawyers did a good job. Go, take what they got for you.” 

More than 28 million people heeded that advice, 17 million of whom were preliminarily approved, according to reporting in The Hill.

Will I get a windfall?

Don’t count on it. How much you could get not only depends on how many people filed claims, but the amount of time you were on Facebook during the “class period” as well as legal and administrative fees.

Lawyer Kasey Sullivan, projects associate at Bleichmar Fonti & Auld in Oakland, California, and one of the firms representing claimants, says the median payout may be around $40.

Attorneys are asking for about $180 million in legal fees, The Hill reports.

Facebook had more than 240 million U.S. users in 2022 alone. All had been eligible, but only those who filed will see any money.

Why is this happening?

The backstory involves a British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, which worked with former president Donald Trump on his 2016 campaign.

The firm was able to obtain private Facebook user data that could help build voter profiles. In 2018, the same year the class action litigation was filed, Facebook conceded that as many as 87 million user profiles may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

What is a class action?

The legal procedure allows one or a small number of plaintiffs to pursue a case on behalf of a larger group or class of people. As part of this particular settlement, which is pending final court approval, Meta admitted no wrongdoing.

The simplest way people had to file a claim was to visit a website,, and submit an online claim.

They were asked to enter their name, postal address, Facebook username and email address or addresses associated with their Facebook account. They could submit only a single claim on their own behalf, though family members with their own accounts could separately file their own claims. Having multiple Facebook accounts at the same time was not double counted.

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Of the 28 million claims filed, about 2 million were duplicates, according to The Hill, and 8 million were flagged as potentially fraudulent.

Worth mentioning: Beware of scammers masquerading as legal beagles who claim they can help you get your piece of a class action settlement. It’s a ruse.

Will I be asked for sensitive personal information?

In a word, no. The settlement administrator won't ask for your Social Security number as part of the claim process. Nor will you be asked for any money.

You also won't receive a text from the settlement administrator, a court-appointed Philadelphia company called the Angeion Group, nor will you be asked to text its representatives. If you receive such texts, it's most likely an attempt to defraud you.

How do I get paid?

You got to choose on the online claim form. Your options were a direct deposit to your bank by providing a routing number and account credentials, prepaid Mastercard, PayPal, Venmo or Zelle.

When might I get paid?

That’s the magic question, and the answer is still not settled. During a Sept. 7 “final” hearing on the case in a San Francisco courtroom, lawyers were granted extra time to file additional documents.

Even if the settlement is approved, post-ruling appeals could prolong matters.

“If a timely appeal is filed, the distribution of settlement funds could be significantly delayed by up to a year or more,” Sullivan told AARP in an email.​

Still skeptical? Many people ignore class action settlements for which they’re eligible. In a 2019 study, the Federal Trade Commission found that the median rate of claims filed in class action cases was just 9 percent.

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Why was my claim rejected?

Don’t expect an illuminating answer. The settlement administrator’s methodology regarding potential fraudulent claims remains under wraps to prevent fraudsters from circumventing detection methods, Sullivan says.

Can I appeal?

Yes, but you must do so within 10 days of receiving notice of a rejected claim.

To contest a claim, visit the settlement website and add the Claim ID and Confirmation Code previously issued to you in email. Fill in your name, address, email and phone number where requested and answer the questions about residing in the United States and being on Facebook during the class period.

You will also be asked whether you are filing a claim for a current account, deleted account or combination of both. You can upload any supporting documentation as well as provide a statement of reasons you are contesting the rejection.

Where might you get proof? Click your profile picture | Settings & privacy | Activity log, which among other things will reveal when you became friends with someone, when you’ve commented or liked a post and so on.

Be aware that you are submitting your appeal under oath.

You may also submit an appeal by email or U.S. mail. If the latter, send mail to:

Facebook Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, c/o Settlement Administrator
1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Include a statement giving the reasons you're contesting the rejection.

This story, originally published April 21, 2023, has been updated to reflect new information about the number of people who filed claims, the amounts they may get as part of the settlement, and how to appeal if your submitted claim is rejected.

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