The parent company of Facebook, Meta, has agreed to pay $725 million to resolve a claim that the social media juggernaut gave third parties access to users’ personal information. The sum was revealed in a court document submitted late on Thursday.
According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, the $725,000,000 proposed settlement “is the highest recovery ever reached in a data privacy class action and the most Facebook has ever paid to resolve a private class action.”
Facebook has not admitted any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, which still needs to be approved by a judge in the San Francisco division of the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
Facebook was said to have reached a preliminary agreement in August, though the settlement’s amount and other details weren’t made public at the time.
Facebook users claimed in 2018 that the social network had violated privacy policies by disclosing their information to outside parties, such as the British company Cambridge Analytica, which was involved in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The complaint claims that without the consent of the 87 million Facebook users, Cambridge Analytica—which has since been shut down—gathered and misused their personal information.
According to reports, software was developed using this information to influence US voters in Trump’s favour.
Since then, Facebook has reduced the amount of information available to developers, blocked access to its data from thousands of apps accused of abusing it, and made it simpler for users to adjust their personal data sharing options.
The federal government fined Facebook $5 billion in 2019 for misleading its users and imposed independent control over the management of its personal data.