Plaid is ubiquitous, and not just in the winter. We’re talking about the fintech, not a shirt pattern, and the Silicon Valley company recently settled a class action lawsuit accusing it of collecting excessive data from users. As a result, it will pay $58 million to consumers, which are anybody who has linked a bank account to any of Plaid’s 5,500-plus client apps, including popular services like American Express, Venmo, Robinhood, Coinbase, and Betterment.
Plaid serves as a middleman connecting bank accounts to other fintech services, and says it’s been used by tens of millions in North America.
According to the settlement website, Plaid allegedly obtained “more financial data than was needed” and set up log-in pages that deceptively mimicked those of the user’s own bank account, but fed the credentials directly to Plaid itself. For its part, Plaid has denied any wrongdoing and argued that it was transparent about its practices to consumers.
It agreed to the $58 million deal in August, which also required it to change some business practices. At the time, its lead counsel issued a statement that the lawsuit’s claims “go back to the earliest days of the company—as such, the underlying claims and challenged conduct do not reflect today’s Plaid.”
For those wondering if they’re eligible for a claim, the settlement website offers a searchable list of Plaid’s clients (which also include Acorns, Chime, SoFi, and Upstart to name a few). Full terms and filing deadlines are found here. If you want to cash in, you must do so in the next three months—although given the size of the potential claimant pool, you might expect another Equifax-like frenzy where your payout becomes a couple dollars, if anything.
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