Recently, many Facebook users were sent an email with the subject line: “LEGAL NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION” and a body full of legal terms detailing the Facebook class action lawsuit settlement. No, that wasn’t spam.

Facebook entered into a $20 million settlement to resolve a class action lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleged that the social network illegally used users’ names and photos in sponsored posts without first obtaining consent. Facebook denies any wrongdoing and opted to settle the case rather than deal with the burden of litigation. The court granted preliminary approval of the settlement, so Facebook has begun the process of doling out payments.

The amount to be paid to each person will depend on how many people file claims, but is capped at $10. Facebook currently has 150 million users, but the number eligible to file a claim is unknown. If too many people file a claim and it will cost too much to send out payments, the settlement money will be donated to non-profit organizations instead.

If you received an email notice, you can participate in the settlement by completing a form at before  May 2, 2013. If checks are to be sent out, expect to receive yours after June.

Read the settlement agreement in its entirety settlement agreement in its entirety.

About the author

Matt Faustman

Matt Faustman

Matt is the co-founder and CEO at UpCounsel. Matt believes in the power of online platforms to change antiquated ways of life and founded UpCounsel to make legal services efficiently accessible. He is responsible for our overall vision and growth of the UpCounsel platform. Before founding UpCounsel, Matt practiced as a startup and business attorney.

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