Google owes me $12 just for the inconvenience of ever having used Google+
Class action bullsh*t.
I spent more time reading the email I received last night concerning Google+ than actually using Google+. The failed social media experiment from Google disappeared into the social media sunset with little more than a whimper. But if you used the network between 2015 and 2018, your data might have been at risk due to some software bugs that allowed app devs to access some Google+ field information.
The long and short of it is that Google denies that any data was actually at risk, but that didn’t stop it from settling a class action lawsuit for operating a broken piece of software. It was easier for Google to just settle the damn thing for $7.5 million than to do anything to prove that Google+ was anything but secure. If you were a lawyer on the case then you stand to make some money. If you were one of the named plaintiffs, then you stand to pull a few grand maybe. If you just have a Gmail email address, then you might be eligible for five bucks.
Google+ was the only social media that people like Josiah ever found popularity on, but it was doomed from the start and when Google tried to make it mandatory by tying it to other Google services, it was basically beating it over the head with the shovel it would be buried with. We should get paid for just having to use the hideous service. Regardless, you can go here to file a claim, and depending on how many people file, payouts will be between $5-$12.
Now, if you still want to sue Google yourself for the existence of Google+, then you’ll want to opt-out of the class action. If you do nothing you’ll be included in the class action but will receive no payment and forfeit your right to sue Google regarding the specific claim in this case. Frankly, it’s a lot of work for $12 (no, you don’t get $12 for each Gmail account you have Joe, it’s a max of $12 per person).
I didn’t even know there was a class action against Google for Google+, which is probably why the email started out with the line: “You are not being sued. This notice affects your rights. Please read it carefully.” I read it about as carefully as a horse relieves itself on a cobblestone road. It’s basically a notice that some lawyers are making bank on this case while the actual users get a pittance tossed into their ragged hats, soaked in horse piss and trampled, like our data rights whenever we use a social network.
This isn’t the only class action data breach lawsuit to reach a settlement this week
Yahoo! has settled its class action lawsuit for $117.5 million concerning multiple data breaches over many years. That one has 194 million class members, so everyone gets like 60 cents. That’s what your data is worth. Lawyers get paid, Yahoo! secured your data about as well as a badger in a wet cardboard box and time moves on.
There’s also a class action on the horizon against Zynga, after it revealed its own data breach late last year. That class action was filed back in March but has yet to go before a judge. It will likely be another settlement to millions of users in the form of a handful of pennies and a pat on the head. Winning!
We can expect this trend to continue. Data breach. Class action lawsuit. A few pennies in compensation. Lawyers get rich. Our data is still gone and at risk. It’s the ouroboros of social media, the cost of existing online. It would be nice if these data breaches just didn’t happen, but as long as there is data, there are going to be breaches. At least we can fill our change purses with the payouts. Sigh.
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