Google+ lawsuit settled and you might be owed a little money
posted Sunday Aug 9, 2020 by Scott Ertz
In the crowded field of social media, one brand we did not expect to be talking about in 2020 is Google+. The service ran from 2012 until 2019 when Google shut it down following poor consumer reception and, acting as the final nail in the coffin, was a revealed data breach. Because of that breach, a small number of affected users came together to file a class-action suit against Google, a move that was almost inevitable. While the case has gone on for the past year, a settlement has finally been reached.
If you had a Google+ account between January 2, 2015, and April 2, 2019, and entered any private information into your profile, you are entitled to a portion of the class settlement. For your troubles, your piece of the pie will be a whopping $12. To add insult to injury, the $12 is only available once per person, regardless of how many Google+ account you might have had during that period. To file your claim, you can head to the class action claim page.
The suit and subsequent settlement were focused on the issues with Google's API. Profiles had the ability to list public and private information, however the API's security was not setup to support that security profile. The API exposed the private information through a public endpoint, which allowed anyone to retrieve that information, no matter the user's settings. The issues existed for several years, but was not revealed to users until just before the announcement of the service's termination.
What added difficulties to Google's reputation, and likely their court case, was the forced integration of Google+ into other services. Google tried to force people to use Google+ by using it as the commenting system for YouTube, terminating Google Photos and moving it into Google+, and more. This meant that the number of people with a Google+ profile was even higher than it would have been, entirely because of Google's heavy hand.