Facebook pays $90 million to settle user tracking lawsuit


Facebook has agreed to pay $90 million to settle a lawsuit nearly a decade ago that accused it of tracking users' online activity even after they were disconnected from the social network.

An initial settlement motion has been filed with the United States District Court in California and requires the judge's approval.

The agreement also obligates Facebook to delete data it has unlawfully collected.

Meta Platforms Facebook users have been accused of violating federal and local privacy laws and wiretapping using utility software to store cookies that were tracked when they visited external websites marked as "like" on Facebook.

There are allegations that Facebook then aggregated users' browsing history into profiles which it sold to advertisers.

The case was dismissed in June 2017, but a federal appeals court reconsidered it in April 2020, saying users could try to prove that California-based Menlo Park unfairly benefited and violated their privacy.

Facebook's subsequent efforts to persuade the US Supreme Court to hear the case failed.

The company denied any wrongdoing but settled the case to avoid costs and the risk of lawsuits, according to settlement documents.

Meta spokesman Drew Bustieri said in an email that the settlement "is in the interest of our community and our shareholders and we are pleased to see this issue resolved."

The settlement covers Facebook users in the United States who visited between April 22, 2010 and September 26, 2011 non-Facebook websites that displayed the social network's "like" tag.

Facebook has faced other privacy lawsuits.

In July 2019, he agreed to strengthen privacy safeguards in a US Federal Trade Commission settlement that also included a $5 billion fine.

On Monday, the Texas attorney general filed a lawsuit against Meta, saying it collected facial recognition data without users' permission.

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