Google, now part of parent company Alphabet, has agreed to settle a lawsuit, paying consumers $23 million. Just about everyone in the country could be eligible for a small slice of the pie.
In 2013 Google found itself a defendant in a class-action lawsuit alleging that the search giant violated users' privacy by selling their search terms to other websites.
Besides the obvious privacy issue, the plaintiffs pointed out that search terms often contain sensitive personally identifiable information (PII). They said the terms could include names, addresses and even credit card numbers.
Here’s who’s eligible for compensation:
People who used Google’s search engine between Oct. 25, 2006, and Sept. 30, 2013
When using it, people who clicked on a link in the search field
That’s it. As you might expect, millions of Americans are eligible to receive compensation under the settlement.
The estimated payment per person – which can vary depending on how many people make a claim – is only $7.70. But that’s a lot more than the original amount. The initial settlement was for only $8.5 million, meaning claimants would get only four cents.
To make a claim, go to the claims website and then register here. Once registered, the website will assign a class member ID, which is necessary to file for a claim. Once you register, the site will email you an individual class member ID number.
There’s no time to waste since the deadline for registering is July 31, 2023. The settlement would resolve the legal claims in the lawsuit against Google, in which the company denies all claims made in the complaint.
The final approval hearing for all the claims will take place on October 12, 2023.