(NEXSTAR) — If you think you may have “Googled” anything between Oct. 25, 2006 and Sept. 30, 2013 and clicked on a search result, odds are you may have a claim and be entitled to some of the $23 million settlement the tech giant has agreed to pay out.
The settlement ties back to a class action lawsuit — for which Google denies any wrongdoing or liability — which claims that the search engine “improperly shared your search queries with third-party websites and companies” during the above time period. The settlement is not an admission of guilt by Google, according to Kroll Settlement Administration, which is handling logistics of the settlement.
Here’s what to know:
- Deadline to participate or exclude yourself is July 31. If you do nothing, you will forfeit your right to sue Google or receive any compensation related to the allegations in this lawsuit
- Claim forms can be submitted via mail or by visiting referrerheadersettlement.com
- How to file a claim: Visit the Google Referrer Header Settlement website and click “Registration Form”
- Fill out your registration information to receive a Class Member ID. NOTE: This is not a claim submission. There are two more steps
- Once you submit this form, you’ll receive your Class Member ID at the email address you provided during registration
- Back at referrerheadersettlement.com, click “Submit Claim” and drop your ID number into the space provided. Hit “submit” and you’re done
The final approval hearing is Oct. 12 and appeals are possible. Those who wish to object can also write to the court to explain why they feel the settlement shouldn’t be approved. You may be asked to speak in court. All participants should be patient and check back at the settlement website for updates.
Payment amounts will depend on how many claims there are but estimated payouts are about $7.70 per person for approved claims.
According to Kroll, as part of the settlement, Google has agreed to revise its FAQs and “key terms” pages to explain how user search data is shared with third parties via referrer headers.