(Reuters) — Meta Platforms Inc. reached a $37.5 million settlement in a lawsuit that accused the parent of Facebook of violating users’ privacy by tracking their movements through their smartphones without permission.
A preliminary settlement of the proposed class action was filed Monday in San Francisco federal court and requires a judge’s approval.
The users said that even if they didn’t want to share their locations with Facebook, the company still inferred where they were from their IP addresses and used that information to send them targeted advertising.
Monday̵7;s settlement covers people in the US who used Facebook after January 30, 2015.
Meta denied wrongdoing by agreeing to settle. It did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment.
In June 2018, Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the US Congress that the Menlo Park, California-based company uses location data “to help advertisers reach people in specific areas.”
As an example, it said users who ate at particular restaurants could receive posts from friends who also ate there, or ads from businesses looking to provide services nearby.
The trial began in November 2018. Attorneys for the plaintiffs can seek up to 30% of Monday’s settlement for legal fees, settlement papers show.
The case is Lundy et al v. Facebook Inc.US District Court, Northern District of California.