08/06/2020 - 9:50
“ You are not being sued. This notice affects your rights. Please read it carefully ”. This is the start, in English, of an email that millions of Gmail users received this Tuesday and that, due to the way it looks, many dismissed. But it is legitimate.
It happens that Google is compensating for a total of $ 7.5 million to those who were users of Google+ , the social network that launched 9 years ago - and then discontinued - to compete with Facebook for the exposure of personal data.
The email that Gmail sent to its users. (Google)
The problem is that the email seems false . Even for the graphic design of the site they call to visit (www.GooglePlusDataLitigation.com), it is everything that a more or less trained user generally dismisses as being apocryphal (a scam or deception). And the address that sends it is firstname.lastname@example.org, which is also suspicious. But it is real.
In English, the email explains that it is a notification of a “class action” , that is, a class action , by which Google was asked to expose personal data. There it is explained that to claim the money, that would be a total of 12 dollars for each user who sue , and that this is for US residents .
The claim is valid until October 8 of this year and excludes any Google employee.
Google+ was definitively closed last year. (AP)
What happened and why Google offers money
In 2018 Google+ had two bugs (errors) that exposed personal information of its users, including names, emails, jobs, ages and other sensitive data. It was the Wall Street Journal that revealed in 2018 that, in March of that year, Google already knew this but chose not to go public so as not to cause “reputational damage” to the company. It was in the context of the Facebook Analytics scandal with Cambridge.
From that investigation, various users made the collective action.
The Wall Street Journal released the information in 2018
But of course the claim has certain requirements that, at least in Argentina, already leaves us out : you must have been a Google+ user between January 1, 2015 and April 2, 2019 and also reside in the United States (Which is logical because the class action was made in that country).
Furthermore, the agreement has to be proven in a judicial court , and that decision will be made on November 19 of this year.
Google+, the social network that was not
Google Plus was never able to retain users. (Reuters)
The Google+ paradox made many users have the account, because it was enough to be a Google user, that is, having an email account on the platform. But the reality is that nobody used it .
The truth is that beyond the strength of Facebook in the sector, Google+ was never entirely clear in its interface and users did not manage to incorporate it into their routines, despite having it quite at hand for being integrated into the ecosystem of Google.
In fact, the "circle" system that Google+ had was one of the most confusing points.
Google plus stopped working in April 2019, although its users almost no longer used the service. Currently it was replaced by Currents, but it does not have a social or recreational purpose, but rather, it is to replace the corporate service that Plus had.