Social media is lighting up with articles about Facebook users allegedly getting $17,500 each as a result of Facebook’s data breach, but it is all based upon a faulty premise. The Sun had an article that is no longer on their website but still listed in Google’s search results index.
Originally, Dr. Maureen Mapp was quoted in the article from March 28, estimating how much money Facebook users might expect from a huge class action lawsuit for the data breach.
“There are about 50 million Facebook users whose data was harvested. Assuming each one of them brought a claim for compensation for distress caused by the data breach…each individual may be awarded £12,500 as damages.”
Mentioning 12,500 British pounds, which equals $17,505 USD, Dr. Mapp’s quote has traveled around the web and has gone viral.
Australia is opening an investigation into whether Facebook violated national privacy laws by exposing users' information to Cambridge Analytica. https://t.co/nwZMVGOGY0
— NPR (@NPR) April 5, 2018
The words found in the original article from The Sun have traveled to the VT article, which notes that the Cambridge Analytica data breach could cause Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s platform to have to shell out big bucks to users.
The publication claims that Mapp estimated Facebook could be penalized as much as $880 billion in damages. With an estimated 50 million Facebook users originally believed to have had their data breached by Cambridge Analytica, each of those users could presumably collect approximately $17,500 in damages.
The latest news reveals that Facebook had 87 million users exposed to Cambridge Analytica, as reported by Wired, and not the original 50 million users believed to have been exposed.
However, the fault lies in the $880 billion assumption in damages in the first place. Facebook’s current value, which has lost $120 billion, according to CNBC, is not $880 billion. According to VT, a data protection attorney named David Barda estimated that Facebook users would be more likely to get $700 each, not $17,500, and only if they could prove the distress caused by the data breach.
But that hasn’t stopped articles, like this one from Viral Thread, from going viral.
Folks on Twitter are already tweeting about wanting their $17,500 from Facebook.
And sites like The Mirror are publishing articles about the possible settlements to facebook users is the social media giant is found liable for misconduct.