If you used social media on your smartphone between 2009 and 2012, you may be entitled to a payout. Per a new settlement discovered by Law360, those who downloaded and used apps like Yelp, Twitter, and Instagram during the four-year period might be able to collect on a privacy settlement. The decision, which was handed out in San Francisco federal court on Monday, requires eight companies (Instagram, Foursquare, Kik, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Yelp, Twitter, and Path) to pay a total of $5.3 million to consumers.
The settlement comes after a lengthy court battle that first began in 2012 over the iOS feature known as “Find Friends.” A group of iPhone users sued a number of social media companies, as well as Apple, for violating their privacy by neglecting to tell them that Find Friends would take contact lists and send them to company servers.
While the defendants have insisted that they did nothing wrong for years, noting that they had to store contact lists for Find Friends to work, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar disagreed in his ruling. “Fundamentally, this case is about whether Apple’s conduct and that of application developers violated community norms of privacy,” Tigar wrote in his 21-page ruling. “A ‘reasonable’ expectation of privacy is an objective entitlement founded on broadly based and widely accepted community norms.”
So just how much of a payout can you expect? Not that much, really, especially since the decision probably affects millions of people. All the same, if you’re looking for a quick way to make a few dollars, you may want to check out whether or not you’re eligible. To see if you are, take a closer look at the proposed Q&A for the claim process here.