AOL Settles Class Action Lawsuit for $5 Million

By on February 19, 2013

AOL 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 the 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 avoid a similar data breach in the future, and to help in having users’ information removed from other sites that mined the AOL data.