Guess Who Gets the Millions From Yahoo’s Email Privacy Settlement (Not Users)

Photo (cc) by Schill

Yahoo has agreed to pay up to $4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over email privacy. But the plaintiffs’ attorneys will keep the entire payout, and the Internet giant has only agreed to make minor changes to its email scanning practices, which is what prompted the legal action in the first place.

The class-action suit claimed that Yahoo violated the privacy rights of non-Yahoo mail users by scanning their emails – including attachments – that were sent to Yahoo email addresses and then using the data to produce targeted ads for those Yahoo users, Ars Technica reported. According to the suit, those non-Yahoo mail users “did not consent to Yahoo’s interception and scanning of their emails.”

Yahoo has agreed to pay up to $4 million, though a U.S. District Court judge still needs to approve the settlement amount. Interestingly, the plaintiffs in the case won’t see a dime of the settlement. Instead, the payout will go to Girard Gibbs and Kaplan Fox, the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The plaintiffs in the case had earlier dropped demands for statutory damages, Naked Security reports.

The settlement agreement proposed by the plaintiffs’ attorneys also won’t prevent Yahoo from scanning the emails and attachments of nonusers and using the information for targeted ads. It merely changes when the messages will be scanned. Yahoo has agreed that ingoing emails will only be “sent to servers for analysis for advertising purposes after a Yahoo Mail user can access the email in his or her inbox,” rather than before.

Outgoing messages will also continue to be scanned, but not until they are in the “sent” folder.

Yahoo maintains that the “material changes” to make its email systems accommodate the new timing of the email scans will take “substantial effort and cost.”

“Yahoo is pleased to have resolved this matter, subject to the Court’s approval,” a Yahoo spokesperson told Ars Technica. “Yahoo denies any wrongdoing and it notes that the Court has not issued any ruling that Yahoo acted unlawfully.”

Initially, six separate lawsuits were filed in 2013, accusing Yahoo of violating the privacy of its nonusers by automatically scanning their emails without consent, according to Ars Technica. But those individual lawsuits were later consolidated into one class-action lawsuit.

Yahoo’s terms of service agreement for its email accounts stipulates that Yahoo can scan email for advertising purposes. But the proposed settlement will also require that the company add this sentence to its Privacy Center page, which already outlines its email scanning system: “Yahoo analyzes and stores all communications content, including email content from incoming and outgoing mail.”

As you can probably tell by now, it’s hard to see how the plaintiffs in the case can celebrate this as a win. They are not getting paid any damages, and Yahoo will continue to scan their emails.

Are you as confused as me? What do you think about the Yahoo settlement? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Award-Winning Products That Impressed 40,000 Shoppers
8 Award-Winning Products That Impressed 40,000 Shoppers

The Product of the Year awards help shoppers find the best pet products, personal care items and everything in between.

5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes
5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes

Here’s how to keep Uncle Sam’s mitts away from your nest egg.

Big-Ticket Things You Should Never Buy
Big-Ticket Things You Should Never Buy

In this week’s podcast: Are you wasting big money on these common purchases?

21 Thrift Store Gems You Can Cash In On
21 Thrift Store Gems You Can Cash In On

Here’s what to look for at that overstuffed thrift store — and how you can make money from it.

7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales
7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales

Here’s what an experienced estate sale shopper considers a great find.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19
Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19

It takes just seconds to take this simple preventive measure.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It
15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It

Discover some must-have products on Amazon that you didn’t even know you were missing.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.