Good news for the users of the now defunct Google+ social network, you may be eligible for a cash payout as the tech giant is in the process of settling a class-action suit in the U.S.
Earlier this year, Google agreed to a $7.5 million settlement that would be paid to its former Google+ users. This is after a bug was discovered in the social network that could have led to users’ data being compromised.
Google+ class-action suit & settlement
The tech giant is not new to lawsuits. In fact, it is being sued for $5 billion for allegedly violating the user’s privacy when using Chrome’s Incognito Mode.
Google+ was created by Google to rival the existing social media networks. After how many years, the company is pulling its plug on the social network. Google+ experienced a software bug that could lead to users’ data being compromised.
Over 500,000+ profiles were affected by the bug and Google has denied any wrongdoing. However, the company admitted that they found software bugs within the platform which potentially exposed its users’ personal data to third parties.
There’s no evidence that users’ personal data were accessed by third-party users. But the settlement agreement entitles users to file a claim to receive cash payments up to $12 as long as there are sufficient funds available.
Google+ users received an email detailing that they may be eligible to receive their share of the cash settlement. Many were suspicious about the said email, claiming it to be fake.
Users who were members of the Google service between January 1, 2015, to April 2, 2019, received the email. It was titled “Notice of Class Action Settlement re Google Plus,” warns readers, “You are not being sued.”
A couple of users who received the email took to Twitter to expressed their suspicions. The email didn’t start with a greeting and offering a cash payout, users were unsure if the email was legitimate.
The email came from the company’s handle [email protected], which seemed fake to many users. Good thing, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the email was legitimate.
How to claim the cash settlement?
If you receive the email, unfortunately, you would not automatically get the cash. Those who are eligible for the cash payout are able to claim up to $12 after you waive the right to future litigation in the case. You will then have until October 8, 2020, to file a claim or to opt-out.
The thing is, if you do nothing, you will not receive any amount, will lose the right to sue the tech giant, and/or any other released entities regarding the legal claims in the said case.
Also, the settlement excludes anyone who works for Google, anyone in their immediate family members, and those who are involved in the case.
There are reportedly an estimated 10 million people who used Google+ while the platform was exposed to the software bug.
The plaintiff’s brief states that Google will provide “quick relief for Settlement Class members, including payments for potentially disseminating their non-public information to unauthorized third-party application developers.”
“Importantly, the Personal Information of all Class members was never disseminated or accessed by hackers or other malicious third parties,” the brief continued, “but instead was potentially exposed to third-party software developers known to Google.”