A Check From Facebook Might Be Heading Your Way—But Don’t Get Too Excited
Hey, Facebook (FB) is sending checks to users!
But here’s the catch: they’re for $15 and you would have had to have made a claim 3 years ago.
So what’s the story behind this not quite bumper payout?
Back in 2011, five plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit against Facebook for hijacking their names and faces to use in “Sponsored Story” ads. The social media giant, the charge went, had cobbled together promotional material based on users “liking” companies’ pages or content, Quartz reports.
Years of trials and appeals later, a California court granted a $20 million dollar settlement. That meant that anyone whose likeness had been used without consent was entitled to receive a $15 check — but only if they’d submitted a claim by May 2, 2013.
Many users had even forgotten they’d ever submitted claim. So when checks started popping up in the mail this week recipients took to twitter to express their surprise.
Some used the occasion to take a swipe at Facebook, or the state of the nation.
And others used the payout to call attention to social causes.
“Sponsored Story” ads, which broadcast users actions on Facebook in ad form, were nixed by the site in June 2013 according to Quartz. The case led to other changes in how the social media giant employs user data and images in ads.
For more on Facebook and privacy, watch Fortune’s video:
However Facebook has continued to attract controversy over privacy breaches. In September, Fortune‘s Erin Griffith reacted to Facebook accessing users’ phone address books to recommend new friends to other users.