Technology

Google+ class motion pays $ 2.15 for information breach on Google+

google-class-motion-pays-2-15-for-information-breach-on-google

Let go of YouTube, you beast!

Who remembers the sudden and dramatic death of Google+?

Google’s Facebook competitor and “social backbone” was practically dead with the company by 2014, but Google let the failed service hang around in maintenance mode for years while the company outsourced standalone products. In 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google+ had disclosed the private information of “hundreds of thousands of users” for years, that Google knew about the problem, and that the company chose not to disclose the data breach for fear of regulatory scrutiny. According to the report, Google was forced to acknowledge the data breach, and the company admitted that the “private” data of 500,000 accounts was in fact not private. With no one working on Google+ anymore, Google’s “fix” for the bug was to close Google+ completely. Then the complaints began.

Today’s Matt Matic and Zak Harris class action lawsuit against Google was filed in October 2018, blaming Google’s “lax approach to data security” for the errors. The complaint added: “Worse still, after discovering this vulnerability in the Google+ platform, the defendants remained silent for at least seven months and made a calculated decision not to notify users that their personal information has been compromised, which affects privacy.” of consumer information at risk of identity theft or worse. “The full details of the case website can be found at googleplusdatalitigation.com.

The case was settled in June 2020, with Google agreeing to pay out $ 7.5 million. After about half of that money was lost to legal and administrative fees and 1,720,029 people filled out the correct forms by the October 2020 deadline, the payout for each person is a whopping $ 2.15.

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Ars Managing Editor Eric Bangeman received this incredible stroke of luck yesterday.  Don't spend everything in one place!

Ars Managing Editor Eric Bangeman received this incredible stroke of luck yesterday. Don’t spend everything in one place!

Eric Bangeman

This first Google+ data leak was active from 2015 to 2018 and gave developers full access to the data in the Google+ “People” API, even for private profiles. That meant any developer could get all of the Google+ profile information you filled out, including your name, birthday, gender, email address, relationship status, occupation, and a list of the places you’ve lived. Two months later, Google announced a second Google+ privacy bug that re-exposed that People API data, but this time to a whopping 52.5 million users. The case was later expanded to include all of these individuals.

Google+ was killed in April 2019 and can no longer harm anyone.

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