Meta Reaches $37.5 Million Settlement of Facebook Location Tracking Lawsuit

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Meta Platforms Inc settled a $37.5 million lawsuit alleging Facebook‘s parent company violated user privacy by tracking users’ movements through smartphones without permission.

A preliminary settlement of the proposed class-action lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco and required a judge’s approval.

It settled allegations that Facebook violated California law and its privacy policy by collecting data on users who turned off location services for mobile devices.

Users say that while they don’t want to share their location with Facebook, the company still infers their location from their IP (Internet Protocol) address and uses that information to send targeted ads.

Monday’s settlement covers people who used Facebook in the US after January 30, 2015. Meta denies wrongdoing by agreeing to the settlement.

In June 2018, Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the US Congress that the Menlo Park, California-based company uses location data “to help advertisers reach people in specific areas.”

For example, a user who dines at a particular restaurant might receive posts from friends who also dine there or ads for businesses looking to serve nearby.

The lawsuit began in November 2018. According to the settlement documents, the plaintiffs’ attorneys may demand attorneys’ fees of up to 30% of Monday’s settlement amount.

The case is Lundy et al. v Facebook Inc, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-06793.

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