You can now get $12 for free if you used Google Plus between 2015 and 2018

Google+ running on a Google Pixel
Google+ running on a Google Pixel (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google was sued over a Google Plus security flaw that exposed user data between 2015 and 2018.
  • The company has now settled the suit to the tune of $7.5 million.
  • Affected Google Plus users may file a claim for up to $12 before October 8.

Google has settled a Google Plus class-action lawsuit over a 2015 security vulnerability for $7.5 million. This vulnerability was the proximate cause for Google Plus's ultimate demise, and it still haunts Google years later. As a result, the company will now offer ex-Google Plus users in the U.S. a payout from that sum as part of the settlement terms.

The company alerted eligible Google Plus users with an email this week, saying:

Google operated the Google+ social media platform for consumers from June 2011 to April 2019. In 2018, Google announced that the Google+ platform had experienced software bugs between 2015 and 2018, which allowed app developers to access certain Google+ profile field information in an unintended manner. Plaintiffs Matthew Matic, Zak Harris, Charles Olson, and Eileen M. Pinkowski thereafter filed this lawsuit asserting various legal claims on behalf of a putative class of Google+ users who were allegedly harmed by the software bugs ("Class"). Google denies Plaintiffs' allegations, denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever, and believes that no Class Members, including the Plaintiffs, have sustained any damages or injuries due to the software bugs.

Even with Google denying any harm being done, the company is offering a cash payment of up to $12 per affected member, depending on how many people successfully claim. Users have up to October 8 to make a claim, though Google says affected customers have the option to opt-out of the settlement or file an objection with the court before that date.

As with any settlement of this nature, accepting the claim means surrendering any rights to sue Google for this breach going forward. You can make a claim or dispute the settlement from this page.

Michael Allison