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Google may owe you a class action settlement: here’s how to get it

If you performed any Google internet searches between 2006 and 2013 (chances are you did), well, Google owes you some money. Here’s how to get it.

The logo.
Image: KnowTechie

Do you search for things on Google? Were you searching on Google between 2006 and 2013? Are you petty enough to file a class action claim that you’ll only get like 7-ish bucks out of? Then, we have some good news for you.

Back in 2010 (we’re talking 13 years ago), a lawsuit was filed against Google.

The allegation was that the tech giant breached user privacy by sharing information with third parties. This information reportedly included details on how users found their websites through searches.

Needless to say, the case went on for a while.

By 2015, they had settled for $8.5 million. But most of that money would go to privacy advocacy groups and the like. If you were to file for yourself, you’d have gotten four whole cents. Not even a nickel.

Luckily, that measly number was challenged. This action reopened the lawsuit, which eventually escalated to the Supreme Court in 2019.

Long story short, the settlement amount was revised to a substantial $23 million. This final decision was announced in January 2023.

Google logo with blurred pixel background

Who qualifies for the Google class action settlement?

So, how does one get in on this?

First, you need to be a US resident. Then, you have to think back and try to remember if you searched Google and clicked on a link at any point between Oct. 26, 2006, and Sept. 30, 2013.

Unless you’re an avid Yahoo or DuckDuckGo user, and Bing didn’t exist until 2009. So, chances are, you’ve used Google for a search at least once.

How much will I get from the class action suit?

If you file multiple claims, it’s going to vary. But the settlement website estimates that each person will get around $7.70.

That’s enough to say Google bought you a large coffee and a cookie for breaching your privacy at some point over a decade ago.

What do I need to do to get my check?

Before you file the claim, you need a Member ID. You’ll need to register here to get that. Yes, it takes a bit of work to get your $7.70.

This image is a form for people to submit a claim for exclusion from a deadline by july 31, 2023. Full text: kroll home faqs documents contact first name * first name submit claim middle name middle name last name * last name exclusion form address 1 * address1 important dates address 2 address 2 exclusion deadline monday, july 31, 2023 city * city you must complete and mail your request for exclusion so state * -- select -- v that it is postmarked no later zip * zip code than monday, july 31, 2023. Phone number phone number objection deadline monday, july 31, 2023 email address * email address you must mail your

After that, you’ve got actually to file the claim. This comes in two flavors: You can either do it digitally through the website or go the traditional route – print out the claim form and mail it in.

How to get your money from Google’s settlement

If you’re looking to do this through the website, you can file your claim on the website.

If you need to print it out, grab the paperwork from the same website and then print them out. Fill it out, and then you’ll mail it off to:

Settlement Administrator
In re Google Referrer Header Privacy Settlement
c/o Kroll Settlement Administration
P.O. Box 225391
New York, NY, 10150-5391

If you plan to file your claim from this class action lawsuit, you have until July 31st, 2023, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. This deadline also applies if you wish to object to the lawsuit or request to be excluded from it.

ActionDeadlineConsequence
Submit a ClaimJuly 31, 2023Only way to receive a settlement payout.
Do NothingNo settlement payout and forfeiture of rights to compensation for this case.
Opt-OutJuly 31, 2023No settlement payout, but allows participation in future lawsuits against Google on this matter.
Voice ObjectionsJuly 31, 2023Opportunity to express disagreement with the settlement in writing and possibly in Court.

The case will be finalized on October 12th, 2023. That date could change due to any appeals. As mentioned, this case started in 2010, so it’s not in any hurry.

If you’re here reading about a Google class action settlement, there’s a high possibility you’ve used Facebook in the past 16 years. If so, you might want to go check out their class action lawsuit also going on.

Similar to Google, you might get a payout.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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After over a decade and a half of writing and journalism in games and multimedia, Arthur loves to talk tech, geek, and gaming, anytime, anywhere. He's the entire package: a gamer, a collector, and he knows how to build a computer. When he isn't writing, he also owns a local game shop, dealing in all various geeky antiquities.

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