AOL settles privacy class action for $5 million

March 13, 2013 by

Online PrivacyAOL has agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company made users’ data available to be downloaded off the internet.  Under the terms of the settlement, class members can receive as much as $100 from the company.

The lawsuit, Landwehr v. AOL, Inc., alleged that AOL made “search query” data for some of its users available for download on a site it operated.   The company claimed the users’ identities were kept private, and that only anonymous data was revealed.  However, according to the complaint, it was possible to determine the user who had conducted the searches in certain instances – which would violate certain consumer protection and privacy laws.

Along with monetary relief, the settlement calls for AOL to take steps to avoid a similar data breach in the future, and to help in having users’ information removed from other sites that mined the AOL data.

Steve Larson
An experienced trial lawyer who handles both hourly and contingent fee cases, Steve has expertise in class actions, consumer cases, antitrust litigation, securities litigation, corporate disputes, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition claims, employment matters, and disputes involving family wealth. Steve regularly represents individuals and businesses in federal and state court and has obtained class-wide recovery in multiple class actions. A veteran practitioner, Steve's clients value his creative approach to resolving complex litigation matters.

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