Anyone who clicked on a search result on Google between 2006 and 2013 may be entitled to some money, as the technology company vowed to pay $23 million (P1.3 billion) as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement.
According to the website, claimants who used Google from Oct. 26, 2006, to Sept. 30, 2013, are estimated to receive approximately $7.70 (P430).
The amount may go up or down depending on the number of people who make valid claims.
In 2013, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Google, accusing the company of “storing and intentionally, systematically and repeatedly divulging” users’ search queries and histories to third-party websites and companies.
It was a privacy law violation and a breach of Google’s own privacy pledge to its users, according to the lawsuit.
Google agreed to pay $23 million last August to resolve the legal claims in the lawsuit, as well as payments to class representatives, attorneys’ fees, litigation costs, and settlement administration costs.
But according to the claim administrator website, Google denies all the claims and the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.
As part of the settlement, Google will also revise its frequently asked questions and key terms pages, on how and when search queries may be disclosed to third parties via referrer headers.
The final approval hearing for the settlement is scheduled for Oct. 12, the claim administrator website said.
It isn't clear when payments will be distributed, and even if the settlement gets approved, there may be appeals which can slow the process, according to the claim administrator website.
Those who wish to file a claim must register on the website first. They must provide their full name, street address, and email address by July 31.
Others may also object to or be excluded from the settlement.