In early January 2022, Google users looked to find out if an email for a class action settlement for Plaid Inc. was a "scam or legit," as readers often do after receiving such notices. The email linked to the website, PlaidSettlement.com.
This was a legitimate notice for a real class action settlement for Plaid Inc. The case number was listed as 4:20-md-03056 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
What's This About?
Plaid Inc. is a company that built technology that enabled "approximately 5,000 mobile and web-based applications" to be able to connect those apps to users' bank accounts. A few notable names on the long list included Ally Financial, Capital One NSB, Citi, Rocket Loans, TD Ameritrade, Tesla, Venmo, and Wells Fargo Enterprise FS, N.A.
The complaint in this case alleges that Plaid took certain improper actions by obtaining log-in credentials to user's financial accounts through a user interface called Plaid Link that the complaint alleges was designed to have the look and feel of the user's bank account login screen, when in fact the username and password were actually being provided to Plaid, and obtaining more financial and other data than was authorized or needed by a user's app.
The time period at issue is January 1, 2013, to November 19, 2021.
How Big Is the Settlement?
According to the Plaid Inc. email notice and an August 2021 article from National Law Review, a $58 million settlement was reached. Claims must be submitted by April 28, 2022.
"If you are a Class Member, you have a lawyer in this case," the email said. "The Court appointed as 'Class Counsel' the law firms Burns Charest LLP; Herrera Kennedy LLP; and Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP to represent the Class Members. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense."
Who Is Eligible?
On the Plaid Inc. settlement website's frequently asked questions page, it spelled out how readers can tell if they would be eligible to be part of the settlement:
If you received a Notice of this Settlement by mail or email, you have been identified by the Settlement Administrator as a Class Member. If you did not receive a Notice by mail or email, you may still be a Class Member.
You can check whether apps or services that you connected to your financial account used Plaid for the connection, by viewing the SEARCH FOR APP/SERVICE page by clicking here. You can see examples of historical versions of Plaid Link on the Important Documents page, and at pages 9-10 and 21-25 of the Complaint, also on the Important Documents page.
If you are still not sure whether you are a Class Member, you may contact the Settlement Administrator by mail at In re Plaid, Inc. Privacy Litigation, c/o Settlement Administrator, 1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210, Philadelphia, PA 19103, or call the Settlement Administrator's toll-free number at 855-645-1115 for more information that may help you determine whether or not you are a Class Member.