Why it matters: Are you a US resident who uses American Express, Venmo, Robinhood, Coinbase, or other similar financial apps? If so, you could be entitled to part of a $58 million payout from Plaid, the result of a class-action lawsuit settlement that claimed the company collected an excessive amount of user data.
The name might not be familiar, but Plaid connects many of the world's largest fintech services to consumers' bank accounts. It boasts a client list of over 5,500 apps and is used by tens of millions of people in North America. Fast Company writes that Plaid faced a class-action lawsuit over allegations it gathered "more financial data than was needed."
The suit also alleged that Plaid obtained people's bank login credentials through set-up log-in pages that deceptively imitated those of users' own banks. Without admitting any wrongdoing, the company agreed to a $58 million settlement in August and said it would change certain business practices. Lawyers said that some of the allegations "go back to the earliest days of the company---as such, the underlying claims and challenged conduct do not reflect today's Plaid."
While $58 million is no small amount, it is being shared out amongst tens of millions of people, so don't make any retirement plans just yet---it will probably end up being just a few dollars. Still, free money is free money.
If you live in the US and had a bank account connected to one of these apps between January 1, 2013, and November 19, 2021, you might be eligible. Users have until April 28, 2022, to submit a claim. Check out the settlement FAQs here.
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