Meta (Facebook) Is Paying Residents of Illinois $397 Each in Lawsuit Settlement

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If you’re from Illinois, you might be getting a $397 check from one of the biggest tech companies in the world: Meta.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has started to send out checks to the people of Illinois for $397 after a lawsuit settlement the company agreed to pay last year.

In total, Meta will need to pay $650 million to the people that live in Illinois.

Many residents have said they’ve already gotten the check, so if you’re from the Land of Lincoln, you likely just need to wait a little bit longer.

What Happened?

The class-action lawsuit started back in 2015. The state of Illinois filed a lawsuit against Facebook because of a facial recognition feature the social media network used to utilize. This feature would recognize your face and could automatically tag you in photos of yourself.

Unfortunately for Facebook, other than being a somewhat creepy feature, it also broke the Illinois state privacy law. This law forbids any company from collecting biometric data from its users without the users’ consent.

Facebook, now called Meta, had been fighting and stalling the case for years until it decided it wanted to reach a settlement. The company first offered to give $550 million to the people of Illinois, but Judge James Donato of California decided that money wasn’t enough.

It wasn’t until last year that Meta agreed to the new amount of $650 million.

Fast forward to May 2022, and many people from Illinois have already gotten their checks and shared their small windfall on social media sites, like Reddit.

If you managed to sign up and file your claim online with your account, you should be receiving a check from Meta in the next few days. Be on the lookout for an email confirmation.

Sure, $397 isn’t much, but the case is more about sending a message to Facebook and other tech companies that privacy laws matter.

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