Google has just agreed to a $23 million settlement after it was found that the tech giant shared searches with third-party websites and companies without explicit user authorization or explicit user agreement. It may seem like a lot of money, but it’s a drop in the bucket, considering that $23M is about 0.0082% of the nearly 280 billion dollars the company generates annually, with most of it being powered by advertising. According to the notice of proposed settlement of the class action case, Google agreed to the payout; however, it is refuting allegations that it shared the information and stated that the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.
What is Google accused of doing that led to this settlement?
The whole basis of the class action lawsuit is about Google compromising the privacy of people who used Google to search for information by, according to the lawsuit, “storing and intentionally, systematically and repeatedly divulging” their search queries and histories with third parties without any previous consent given.
Within Google’s settlement agreement, settlement class members can receive an equal share of the net settlement fund. The amount of money that each settlement class member is expected to receive is not much – only about $7.70. However, this number is only an estimate and can end up being higher or lower, depending on how many settlement class members file claims.
Do I qualify to file a claim?
In re Google Referrer Header Privacy Settlement
c/o Kroll Settlement Administration
P.O. Box 225391
New York, NY, 10150-5391
The Google logo is pictured at the Google India office building in Hyderabad on January 28, 2022. ((Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images))
Claims must be filed online or postmarked by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on July 31. The final approval hearing for the Google settlement is scheduled for Oct. 12, 2023.
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The deadline to object to or be excluded from the settlement is also July 31.
Remember, if you do submit a claim like this, it is under the penalty of perjury. If you’re unsure whether you qualify to receive money from this settlement, you should first look at the FAQ page of the settlement administrator’s website.
If you wish to avoid the hassle of filing a claim, there are alternative courses of action available to you. (Kroll)
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