Apple is required to pay a total of $14.8 million to certain customers as part of a class action settlement. This means that if you paid for an iCloud Plus subscription between certain specific dates in 2015 and 2016, Apple might owe you money.
The lawsuit alleged that Apple stored iCloud subscriber data on third-party servers without notifying them. The free version of Apple iCloud comes with 5GB of storage, but additional space requires a paid iCloud Plus subscription. The plaintiffs in Williams v. Apple alleged that Apple made no mention of external servers in its marketing materials or terms and conditions. (The current iCloud Customer Agreement refers to third-party servers.)
Although Apple did not admit wrongdoing, the company agreed to the settlement in January. A final approval hearing is scheduled for August 4, but the May 23 deadline to ask to be excluded from the settlement — and keep your right to sue Apple — is fast approaching.
Here’s what you need to know about the Apple iCloud settlement, including how to find out if you’re eligible, how you’ll be paid, and how much you can expect to receive.
What has Apple been accused of?
The plaintiffs in Williams v. Apple allege that the company did not store customer data on its own servers. Instead, according to court documents, the company distributed data between third-party cloud services like Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft’s Azure platform, a violation of Apple’s own iCloud contract.
The plaintiffs claim that Apple “lacked the necessary infrastructure” to run iCloud and misrepresented the nature of its service, “merely reselling cloud storage space on other entities’ cloud facilities.”
Customers wouldn’t have paid for a subscription if they knew Apple wasn’t providing storage directly, they claim, or they would have expected to pay significantly less. The alleged misrepresentation allowed Apple “to charge a premium for its iCloud service because subscribers valued having the ‘Apple’ brand as the provider of the storage service,” according to the suit.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Who is eligible to be part of the iCloud settlement?
The settlement includes US residents who paid for an iCloud Plus subscription anytime between September 16, 2015 and January 31, 2016 and had a US mailing address associated with their account.
How do I know if I am eligible?
You really don’t have to do anything. As long as the email you used to sign up for iCloud Plus storage is still active, you should receive a notification that you’re an eligible recipient, or “group member.”
How much can I receive in the settlement?
The exact amount of individual payments depends on the amount of storage you paid for, the length of your subscription, and the total number of people participating in the claim.
Don’t expect to retire on payment, though: Between 2015 and 2016, an iCloud subscription ranged from 99 cents for 50GB of cloud space to 200GB for $2.99 to $9.99 for 1TB of cloud space. ‘space.
In 2018, CNBC reported that there were 170 million paid iCloud Plus subscribers worldwide, so individual payments could amount to a few dollars.
How will I be paid if I qualify?
Group members will automatically receive payment. If you still have an iCloud Plus monthly subscription, your payment will appear as a credit in your Apple account.
If you no longer have a monthly iCloud subscription, you will receive a physical check in the mail. Group members can also request their payment by electronic transfer directly to their bank account.
What is the deadline to withdraw?
If you want to keep the right to be part of another lawsuit against Apple over its iCloud Plus subscription service, you have until Monday, May 23 to ask to be excluded from the class settlement.
But if you do, you are giving up the right to get paid if this settlement is approved.
You can also object to the settlement by writing to the court by Monday. If the settlement is approved by the court, you can still receive a collective payment.
In other settlement news, you can find out if you qualify for Intuit’s $141 TurboTax settlement, get details on student loan company Navient’s $1.86 billion settlement and learn more on thea service connecting consumer bank accounts to apps such as Venmo, Betterment, Robinhood and Acorn.