Google agrees $350m settlement over alleged Google+ coverup

Google will pay $350 million to settle a lawsuit over a security bug at its defunct social media platform Google+.

The company had been accused of spending months concealing a software glitch at Google+ after learning about it in March 2018. The glitch, the lawsuit said, exposed Google+ users’ personal data with reports of the technical fault wiping tens of billions of dollars off parent company Alphabet’s market value.

The lawsuit was led by Rhode Island Treasurer James Diossa on behalf of a state pension fund that owned Alphabet stock. It covers shareholders who held stock between 23 April 2018 to 30 April 2019.

As per Reuters, a preliminary settlement was filed on Monday in San Francisco federal court following more than a year of mediation, though it requires approval by US district judge Trina Thompson.

Google has consistently denied wrongdoing and said that there was no evidence of misused data.

A spokesperson for the company said: "We regularly identify and fix software issues, disclose information about them, and take these issues seriously. This matter concerns a product that no longer exists and we are pleased to have it resolved."

The case had appeared dead in 2020 when a judge dismissed it, but the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals revived it in 2021.

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