Meta Platforms decided to pay $90 million to resolve a lawsuit alleging that the organization used cookies to track Facebook users’ online activities after they had signed out. Furthermore, the social network platform will have to destroy all of the data it improperly gathered from those users. Variety was the first to report on the development.
The ten-year-old case focused on Facebook’s use of the proprietary “Like” button to follow users while they visited third-party websites — regardless of whether they clicked the button — in violation of federal eavesdropping rules, and then allegedly combining their browsing histories into profiles to sell to advertisers.
Users who visited non-Facebook websites with the “Like” button between April 22, 2010, and September 26, 2011, will be covered under the terms of the proposed settlement. “We’re delighted to go past this issue,” a Meta representative told Variety. “Reaching a settlement in this matter, 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.”
The announcement reported a year after Meta was forced to pay $650 million to resolve a class-action complaint alleging that Facebook violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by using facial recognition software to tag individuals in images without their permission.
The agreement comes as Meta is embroiled in yet another privacy lawsuit, this time brought by the state of Texas, which accused Meta of “collecting and utilizing the biometric data of millions of Texans without legally gaining their written consent to do so” earlier this week.