Google might owe you $12 cash settlement: How to claim
If you ever used Google+, the now-dead social networking service launched by Google to take on Facebook, you might be entitled to a $12 cash settlement from the internet giant. The reason? Well, because Google messed up back in 2018, it faced a class-action lawsuit, and has now paid up for the damages to settle the case. Here are more details.
Google+ bugs exposed private user data
Back in October and December 2018, months before Google+ was killed for good, the service drew flak for exposing the private data of its users through two API bugs. The first glitch occurred in March and gave Google+ developers unauthorized access to private profile information of as many as 500,000 users while the second one compromised the data of a whopping 52.5 million users.
Subsequently, the company was sued over the leaks
While the leaks prompted Google to shut down Google+ in April 2019 (sooner than originally planned), the decision could not help the company dodge a class-action lawsuit. It alleged that Google's lax approach to data security and business decisions led to the compromise of 53 million Google+ users' profile information — data that should have remained private in the first place.
Now, the case has been settled for $7.5 million
In response, Google settled the lawsuit by agreeing to pay $7.5 million. Now, as this was a class-action case, the members of the class on behalf of whom the lawsuit was filed - the users whose data was exposed by the two bugs - are entitled to a piece of the multi-million-dollar settlement. This translates into an amount of up to $12 per member.
October 8 is the last date to file your claim
Given the settlement, some Google+ users have received an email notification to file the claim for their share. If you have received this message or were compromised by either of the two Google+ bugs, you can file the claim by heading over to this page: https://www.googleplusdatalitigation.com/submit-claim.php. The last date to submit the claim is October 8, 2020.
Note: Claim only for those in the US
That said, before proceeding, do note that this case and the claim is only for people who had a Google+ account between 2015 and 2019, and are based in the US. Also, the amount that you will get as part of the final settlement will depend on how many people end up filing for the claim. The maximum amount just caps at $12.