Apple is preparing to pay $ 14.8 million as part of a settlement of a class action lawsuit alleging that the company stores data from iCloud subscribers on third-party servers without informing them.
The free version of Apple iCloud comes with 5 GB of storage, but the extra space requires a paid subscription to iCloud Plus. Plaintiffs in the Williams v. Apple case allege that Apple did not mention external servers in its marketing materials or terms. (Current iCloud customer agreement applies to third-party servers.)
Although Apple did not acknowledge the wrongdoing, the company agreed to the deal in January. The final approval hearing is scheduled for August 4, but the deadline of May 23 to request to be excluded from the agreement – and to retain the right to sue Apple – is fast approaching.
Here’s what you need to know about setting up Apple iCloud, including how to find out if you’re eligible, how you’ll be paid, and how much you can expect to receive.
What was Apple accused of?
Plaintiffs in the Williams v. Apple case allege that the company did not store customer data on its own servers. Instead, according to court documents, the company is distributing data between third-party cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft’s Azure platform, in violation of Apple’s iCloud contract.
The plaintiffs allege that Apple “lacked the necessary infrastructure” to launch iCloud and misrepresented the nature of its service by “simply reselling cloud storage space to other entities”.
Customers wouldn’t pay for a subscription if they knew Apple didn’t provide storage directly, they say, or would expect to pay much less. The alleged misrepresentation allowed Apple to “charge a premium for its iCloud service, as subscribers value the Apple brand as a storage service provider,” according to the lawsuit.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Who is eligible to be part of the iCloud agreement?
The agreement includes U.S. residents who paid for an iCloud Plus subscription at any time between September 16, 2015 and January 31, 2016 and had a U.S. postal address associated with their account.
How do I know if I qualify?
You don’t have to do anything, really. While the email you used to sign up for iCloud Plus storage is still active, you’ll need to be notified that you’re eligible as a recipient or “class member.”
How much can I get in the village?
The exact amount of individual payments depends on how much storage space you paid for, how long you had your subscription and the total number of people involved in the claim.
However, don’t expect to withdraw from the payout: between 2015 and 2016, the iCloud subscription ranged from 99 cents for 50GB of cloud space to 200GB for $ 2.99 to $ 9.99 for 1TB of space.
in 2018 CNBC reported that there are 170 million paid iCloud Plus subscribers worldwide, so individual payouts can be as high as a few dollars.
How will I be paid if I meet the conditions?
Class members will receive payment automatically. If you still have a monthly subscription to iCloud Plus, your payment will appear as a credit to your Apple account.
If you no longer have a monthly iCloud subscription, you will receive a physical check in the mail. Class members can also request their payment by electronic transfer directly to their bank account.
When is the withdrawal deadline?
If you want to reserve the right to be part of another lawsuit against Apple for its iCloud Plus subscription service, you have until May 23, 2022, to request to be excluded from the class agreement.
But if you do, you waive the right to receive payment if this agreement is approved.
You can also object to the agreement by writing to the court by May 23. If the agreement is approved by the court, you can still receive a class payment.
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