Facebook Agrees to Pay $90 Million to Settle Decade-Old Privacy Violation Case

Meta Platforms has agreed to pay $90 million to settle a lawsuit over the company’s use of cookies to allegedly track Facebook users’ internet activity even after they had logged off from the platform.

In addition, the social media company will be required to delete all of the data it illegally collected from those users. The development was first reported by Variety.

The decade-old case, filed in 2012, centered around Facebook’s use of the proprietary “Like” button to track users as they visited third-party websites – regardless of whether they actually used the button – in violation of the federal wiretapping laws, and then allegedly compiling those browsing histories into profiles for selling the information to advertisers.

Based on the terms of the proposed settlement, users who browsed non-Facebook websites that included the “Like” button between April 22, 2010, and September 26, 2011, will be covered.

“Reaching a settlement in this case, which is more than a decade old, is in the best interest of our community and our shareholders and we’re glad to move past this issue,” a spokesperson for Meta was quoted as saying to Variety.

The development comes a year after Meta was ordered to pay $650 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused Facebook of violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) over its use of facial recognition to tag users in photos without their explicit consent.

The settlement also arrives as the company has entangled itself in yet another privacy lawsuit from the U.S. state of Texas, which earlier this week sued Meta for “capturing and using the biometric data of millions of Texans without properly obtaining their informed consent to do so.”

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