Google reached a $23 million settlement on a class action lawsuit filed against the company for sharing users’ referrer headers, which include users’ search terms, with third parties.
Although Google denies any wrongdoing in the settlement, it is still willing to pay you some money.
If you used Google Search or clicked on a search link between October 25, 2006 and September 30, 2013, you are eligible for a share of the settlement by filing a claim before July 31.
To file the claim, you need to visit the Referer Header Settlement website, where you will be able to submit a claim form. You can also print the form found on the site and mail it in.
If your claim is approved, you can make approximately $7.70. Although this number may seem underwhelming, you could get yourself a coffee on Google’s dime. When put that way, it doesn’t sound as bad of a deal.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of filing a claim, you also have other options including doing nothing, excluding yourself from the settlement, or objecting if you feel like the settlement should not be approved.
As part of the settlement, Google has also agreed to revise its “FAQs” and “Key Terms” webpages regarding the disclosure of search queries via referrer headers with third parties.