(NEXSTAR) – After months of collecting applications, the window to file a claim in the $725 million Facebook privacy settlement has closed. The deadline passed a week ago, but no one has received a dime yet.
That’s because payments can’t be sent out until the settlement is given final approval by a judge. The hearing is slated for Thursday, Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. in San Francisco.
At the final approval hearing, the judge will decide whether the settlement agreement is “fair, reasonable, and adequate,” according to the settlement administrator. The court will then decide whether or not to approve the attorneys’ fees and other payments laid out in the settlement, as well as hear any objections.
Finally, the court will have the opportunity to grant final approval – but there may be even more roadblocks. Once a settlement is approved, there could still be appeals.
An appeal could put payments on hold for months or even years. “It is always uncertain whether appeals will be filed and, if so, how long it will take to resolve them,” says the settlement administrator.
But the legal process needs to be fully wrapped up before any money hits people’s bank accounts. After that happens, “payments will be distributed as soon as possible,” the administrator says.
If you’ve already filed a claim, you don’t need to attend the settlement hearing – online or in person. You’ll be paid as long as you meet the qualifications.
Meta agreed to the payment to settle a lawsuit claiming Facebook allowed users’ personal data to be shared with third parties, the most famous being Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that supported Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The firm harvested the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users, the Associated Press reported.
While Meta agreed to the payout, the company denies any wrongdoing.