*Note CCC is not a claims administrator, nor can we provide any information on the status of claims. Please do not reach out with questions about a specific claim, but we are happy to continue helping people file claims.

Did Facebook steal your face? Darn. Well, there might just be some money (and some justice) headed your way soon. 

After much anticipation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Hawaii issued a ruling upholding the class action settlement in In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation. According to lead plaintiffs’ attorney Jay Edelson, in an ideal scenario, class members should see payments within 60 days given no further appeals are filed. 

“We’re gratified that the 9th Circuit rejected the frivolous appeal by a couple of objectors,” Edelson said after the ruling. “We expect that their efforts to hold up the settlement are now over and Illinoisans will get the benefit of this historic settlement.”

The settlement was initially approved in early 2021 by a California federal judge but the payouts were delayed when an appeal was filed. The appeal objected to the awarding of exuberant attorneys fees however the appeals court ruled the district court “did not abuse its discretion” by granting the attorneys fees and incentive awards. This case produced an extremely high claim filing rate given the size of the class and thus the attorneys who worked tirelessly should be fairly compensated. 

Taking a look back, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act was passed in 2008, but it took some time for other states to catch on (Illinois, ahead of the curve as always). Since violating your privacy is just so dang profitable, even Illinois struggled to hold companies accountable at first, but thankfully over the years there has been a light shined on the misuse of people’s personal information. Now, the Facebook BIPA case was initially filed in 2015 by Jay Edelson alleging the company’s use of facial recognition features without consent was a violation of Illinois privacy laws. Soon after this filing, many other social media platforms were facing similar class action lawsuits and even employers were facing accusations of not appropriately safeguarding people’s personal information. 

The class in the Facebook settlement includes about 7 million Facebook users in Illinois for whom the social network created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011. To receive money under the Settlement, you must have lived in the State of Illinois for a period of at least 183 days (6 months) after June 7, 2011. 

Payouts to class members will be between $350 and $400 after attorney fees and administrative costs are paid. This is a giant victory for consumers and we anticipate seeing more historic settlements as companies realize they can be prosecuted quite heavily for inappropriately collecting or storing personal information. Stay tuned for further updates on these BIPA settlements and feel free to reach out to Certificate Clearing Corporation with questions you have. 

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