Facebook Data Verification

Learn from Facebook’s Settlement Claim and Use Data Verification to Protect User Privacy

Data verification is an important part of any company’s data-handling processes. Before you can promise to use customer data ethically, you have to first make sure that the data you collect is accurate. 

You incur hefty fines for breaking data-compliance rules and regulations. But when customers, clients, and users feel that their data isn’t protected or that it’s used improperly, you can also lose business or face lawsuits. 

Data verification helps you keep your data organized so that you make the best decisions. There are tools you can use to help you avoid costly lawsuits that large companies like Facebook have suffered for their mistakes. 

Privacy Lawsuits Brought Against Facebook

Facebook users can get settlement money if they had an account in the last 16 years. Facebook’s parent company, Meta, is facing a $725 million settlement for privacy violations. Multiple users brought lawsuits against Facebook for sharing their data improperly with third parties like advertisers and data brokers. 

Facebook was involved in a privacy scandal in 2018. Cambridge Analytica scraped user data to profile and target voters. The problem is twofold. First, Cambridge Analytica’s data-gathering app lied to users about not collecting names and other identifiable information. Second, Facebook improperly shared data from up to 87 million people with Cambridge Analytica.

As a result, anyone who used Facebook in the last 16 years can claim a piece of the $725 million settlement. All users have to do is submit their claim on Facebook’s claim website before August 25, 2023. It will ask basic identifying information and only takes a few minutes. The amount each claimant receives will depend on the number of months the account was active between May 24, 2007 and December 22, 2022 and the number of people who file a claim. 

Data Verification and User Privacy

Use data verification to avoid similar data privacy mistakes in your own business. It’s important to make sure that all of your user data is accurate and up-to-date. Only then will you know for sure which users give you permission to share what kinds of data—and that the data actually belongs to them. Here are some tips for ensuring that you handle user data ethically:

Be Transparent

About 79% of Americans are concerned about how companies use their data. This concern can prevent many people from sharing their data. To help put more users at ease, it’s important to be transparent about what data you need, how it will be used, and who will have access to it. 

Then, of course, it’s important that you honor those promises. And if something changes, communicate that with current users. Update privacy policies and share them with your users. Make announcements highlighting important changes.

Being dishonest, tricky, or sneaky is a surefire way to lose customer trust and business. Not to mention you put yourself at risk of lawsuits…. A majority of Americans know that companies and government entities track and collect their online activity, but they don’t know how it is used. Set yourself apart from the dreaded norm by being transparent about what data you need to collect, why, how it will be used, and whether or not it will be shared. 

Be Fair

A majority of Americans (81%) also believe they don’t really have any control over their data being tracked and collected. What if you gave your customers some? Again, transparency is key. Give your customers a clear idea of what they are signing up for and what policies and procedures they are opting into. 

But it’s just as important to give customers the choice to opt out. And make it easy. Hiding opt-out procedures or complicating them makes businesses seem sneaky and manipulative which just increases customer mistrust. Be fair and give users some control over their data.

Be Organized

Sometimes, data is mishandled by accident. When policies and procedures aren’t clearly defined, when employees aren’t properly trained, and when there is a lack of data verification, mistakes can be made. Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent these data-handling mistakes.

First, make sure your business develops set processes and procedures for handling customer data. Then, share them with all departments—including third-party vendors—and monitor for compliance. These processes and procedures should address how data is accessed and by whom, how the data is to be used, and how long the data is to remain available. 

This is the same information you should share with your customers as well. Collect consent from everyone involved, and make updates as necessary.

Second, make sure your business practices are compliant with any legal regulations that apply to your industry and clientele. If you collect and use customer phone numbers, for example, you need to follow the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Otherwise, you could face hefty fines and lose customers.

Finally, vet third party vendors carefully. We already suggested sharing your data-handling policies and procedures with any third party, making sure they agree to comply. But you also want to make sure you only share data with reputable companies you trust to help you ensure customer data privacy.

It might seem like a lot to worry about, but as long as you are transparent, fair, and organized, you’re on the right track. Plus, there are a number of tools you can use to automate your data verification process to help you stay organized.

Data Verification Tools

There are tools you can use regularly for data verification. You want to verify your data at the point of entry if you can, but it’s also important to verify your existing data at least a couple of times a year. Data changes over time as people move, abandon email accounts, get new phone numbers, update their privacy preferences, etc. 

A phone validator, for example, allows you to upload a list of phone numbers and get a wealth of information in return. You can find out which numbers are active, reachable, and on the Do-Not-Call (DNC) list. A customer who consents to you using their phone data at first can later register their phone number with the DNC registry, or the number can be assigned to a different customer altogether. Then, if you use the data, you risk fraud and spam complaints as well as fines for TCPA violations.

Data verification APIs are helpful tools for validating data at the point of entry. This prevents you from worrying about customers providing incorrect information whether intentionally or unintentionally. An Identify Phone Number API can also provide you with a number’s line type, active status, and DNC list check. But it goes a step further by indicating whether a number has been involved in TCPA litigation, information which further protects you. 


Lawsuits are scary. So it’s important that you organize your data properly, verify it regularly, and educate your employees, vendors, and customers about your data-handling procedures. These are the best ways to protect everyone involved. 

Do better than Facebook. Make sure your users know what data you need, why you need it, how you plan to use it, and who will have access to it. Give them opportunities to opt in or out of certain procedures to remind them that they do have control over their personal, identifiable data. Finally, don’t share customer data with third parties you don’t trust; you could find yourself in trouble by association if they make data-handling mistakes. 

Want to know more about how data verification APIs can work for you? Check out your options today. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Consider a custom API designed specifically for your data needs.