Google is paying out millions to settle shareholders' data privacy lawsuit

Court gavel
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Google has agreed to pay a substantial $350 million settlement to resolve a class action lawsuit relating to a data breach on its now-retired (and frankly unmissed) social media platform, Google+.

The lawsuit stems from a breach that occurred between 2015 and 2018 which exposed the personal data of an estimated 500,000 Google+ users, including names, birthdays, emails, occupations, and addresses.

Shareholders are credited with bringing the case to court, and a preliminary settlement figure was filed in a San Francisco federal court after more than a year of mediation (via Reuters).

Google to pay out $350 million settlement

According to company shareholders, Google’s execs were concerned that publicly disclosing the breach would subject the company to regulatory scrutiny. The court later found that Google did not disclose the breach promptly, resulting in plummeting share prices that wiped billions of dollars off Google’s market value.

Google has denied any wrongdoing, adding that no evidence was found of any personal data misuse.

According to the settlement terms, individuals who purchased Google stock between April 23, 2018 and April 30, 2019, can apply for a share of the settlement. Eligible investors should receive notifications.

José Castañeda, a spokesperson for Google, told TechRadar Pro in an email: “We regularly identify and fix software issues, disclose information about them, and take these issues seriously. This matter concerns a product that no longer exists and we are pleased to have it resolved.”

This case, which was previously dismissed in 2020 but revived, follows a previous $7.5 million class-action settlement in 2020 with users affected by the data breach.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!