Google Reaches $7.5 Million Settlement Over Google+ Data Breaches

  • The incidents in question had exposed the data of over 10 million users.
  • The proposed settlement fund will be diverted to pay class claimants and attorney’s fees and costs.

Google has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle class-action lawsuits filed against the company over Google+ data breach incidents. The incidents in question had exposed the data of over 10 million users.

An overview of the incident

In October 2018, the search engine giant Google had announced the shutdown of its Google+ platform in August 2019 after an internal audit revealed that a bug in Google+ had exposed 500,000 users’ data since 2015.

The exposed information included full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places of residence, occupation, and relationship status.

To make it worse, in December 2018, Google announced an additional bug in a Google+ API that exposed user data from 52.5 million accounts. While the flaw did not expose financial data, passwords or any other identifiers like Social Security numbers, it caused the leak of things like names, ages, email addresses, and occupation.

What does the settlement indicate?

The proposed settlement fund will be diverted to pay class claimants and attorney’s fees and costs, Bloomberg reported (paywall). The deal allows individuals with Google+ accounts between January 2015 and April 2, 2019, and whose nonpublic information was exposed, to submit claims.