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12 February 2024, 8:29 am

Google Shareholders to Receive $350 Million in Lawsuit Settlement tech.slashdot.org

Google Shareholders to Receive $350 Million in Lawsuit Settlement

A lawsuit involving the now-defunct Google+ social media site "has been settled for $350 million," reports CPO magazine, "after a lengthy appeals process played out..." "[T]he total pool after attorney and legal fees are deducted is likely to be well over $200 million." [The lawsuit] dates all the way back to 2018, when Google internally discovered that the Google+ API was being abused to access the private data of about half a million of the social media service's users. Google opted not to publicly declare the breach, as they were not legally compelled to. News of it came via the Wall Street Journal in late 2018. Google shareholders contend that the company kept the issue under wraps due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that Facebook was experiencing at the time, believing that they would suffer a similar negative PR blow. This was supported by an internal company memo that became public. As the news of the exploitable software glitch gradually came out, Google shareholders took a hit as the company collectively lost tens of billions of dollars in market value. The lead plaintiff in the case is Rhode Island Treasurer James Diossa, who was responsible for overseeing a state pension fund that held stock in Google parent company Alphabet. Google+ was shuttered in 2019 after an eight-year run due in part to repeated technical issues with unauthorized API access (as well as low user engagement). "If the settlement is approved by the 9th Circuit judge, the proceeds will be available to Google shareholders who held stock at any time from April 23, 2018, to April 30, 2019... "A separate class-action privacy lawsuit involving users who had private data exposed during the incident was settled in 2018 for $7.5 million, leading to very low payments for each of the claimants."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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