Plaid agrees to pay $58M in data privacy class action lawsuit News
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Plaid agrees to pay $58M in data privacy class action lawsuit

Plaid Inc agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for $58 million on Thursday after six months of negotiation and mediation between the parties’ representatives. The parties submitted their proposed settlement to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division. The court must approve the settlement for it to take effect.

Financial apps like Venmo and Chime use Plaid’s software to connect users’ banks accounts to the apps’ services. In 2020, class members brought suit against Plaid for “invasion of privacy/intrusion into private affairs, unjust enrichment, deceit, and violations” of several statutory provisions.

If the court approves the settlement, class members will receive monetary compensation from the $58 million established fund. Counsel for the class may request no more than 25 percent of the fund as payment. Counsel will seek payments for named class representatives of up to $5000.

The proposed injunctive relief requires Plaid to maintain changes to their interface in order to avoid further privacy breaches and continuing litigation.

Plaid must work to decrease the amount of data it stores by storing only information that is “necessary for Plaid to offer its services, unless the user has expressly consented to the retrieval of additional data fields.” In some cases, Plaid retrieved details on account deposits, withdrawals, transfers, and purchases for “users that Plaid can reasonably determine did not connect an account to an application” and grant Plaid access to the data. Under the terms of the settlement, Plaid must delete all incorrectly obtained data.

The proposed settlement would also require Plaid to improve product transparency. Plaid must provide easy access to the Plaid Portal, a center through which users can “view and manage the connections that have been made between apps and their financial accounts using Plaid.” The company will also ensure that users of apps like Venmo understand that Plaid will receive their data.