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AOL Search Data Class Action Settlement

By Matt O’Donnell



UPDATE 5/29/13: A federal judge approved the $5 million AOL Data Search Class Action Lawsuit Settlement.


UPDATE 11/20/13: Payments for the AOL Search Data Class Action Settlement have been mailed. Class Members are reporting to Top Class Actions that they began receiving their settlement checks on Nov. 18, 2013.


AOL Inc. has reached a $5 million class action lawsuit settlement over allegations it made certain users’ search query data available for download from the Internet in 2006. Class Members that submit a timely Claim Form stand to receive up to $100 cash from the class action settlement.

The AOL search data settlement will resolve a class action lawsuit, titled Landwehr v. AOL Inc., that was filed after AOL made files containing some users’ search queries available for download at in 2006. AOL said the search data was anonymous. According to the class action lawsuit, however, some users’ identities could be determined from the search data and AOL violated privacy and consumer protection laws by making the data available for download.

AOL denies any wrongdoing but has agreed to provide up to $5 million in cash payments to eligible Class Members who submit valid claims. The class action settlement also provides that AOL will reduce the possibility of a similar data release for the next three years and help Class Members who have been, or can, be identified by third-party websites that claim to host the search data by contacting them to ask for the removal of those Class Members’ data.

Class Members of the AOL search data settlement include anyone who lived in the United States or its territories at any time between March and May of 2006 and had their search query data available for download from in 2006.

There are three types of payment Class Members can claim from the class action lawsuit settlement:

Tier 1 Payment: You are eligible for a payment of up to $50 if you:

  • Were an AOL member between March and May 2006, and
  • Believe in good faith that your search data was made available for download from

Tier 2 Payment: You are eligible for a payment of up to $100 if you:

  • Were an AOL member between March and May 2006,
  • Believe in good faith that your search data was made available for download from
  •, and
  • Either: 1) you have been identified from that data or 2) another person or company could be reasonably certain of your identity based on the data.

Arbitration Claim: If you are eligible for a Tier 2 Payment and feel you suffered losses greater than $100, you can give up your right to that Tier Payment and file an “Arbitration Claim.” If you choose to do so, a neutral party will assess your claim. There is no guarantee your Arbitration Claim will be successful or that you will receive more than $100.

Payments from the AOL class action settlement will be determined at a later date and will depend on the total amount of valid claims received. The only way to receive a payment is to submit a Claim Form by the deadline.

As of the publish date of this article, no claims filing deadline has been set, but you may need to file a claim as early as July 26, 2013. Keep checking Top Class Actions or sign up for our free weekly newsletter to receive updates on the AOL class action lawsuit settlement as they occur.

Claim Forms and more information on your rights in the AOL Search Data Class Action Lawsuit Settlement can be found at Detailed claims filing instructions can be found in our Open Lawsuit Settlements section.


We tell you about cash you can claim EVERY WEEK! Sign up for our free newsletter.


Updated May 29th, 2013


All class action and lawsuit news updates are listed in the Lawsuit News section of Top Class Actions

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Please note: Top Class Actions is not a settlement administrator or law firm. Top Class Actions is a legal news source that reports on class action lawsuits, class action settlements, drug injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits. Top Class Actions does not process claims and we cannot advise you on the status of any class action settlement claim. You must contact the settlement administrator or your attorney for any updates regarding your claim status, claim form or questions about when payments are expected to be mailed out.



  • Janice Banks February 18, 2013

    I have had aol since 2000

  • ReginaldRiggin February 19, 2013

    I’ve been with AOL since back in the90’s

  • Mary Carey February 20, 2013


  • CARNELL BILLUPS February 20, 2013


  • Celeste Harris February 22, 2013

    I’ve been with AOL since the 90’s

  • Rober Spiotta February 22, 2013

    I am a victum of AOL’s mistakes and qualfy for this project. Thank you for your fairness.

    Robert Spiotta

  • Rober Spiotta February 22, 2013


  • Rober Spiotta February 22, 2013


  • Frank Hruby February 23, 2013

    I was with AOL for 13 years until December 2012.

  • Frank Hruby February 23, 2013

    I was with AOL for 13 years prior to December 2012

  • raymond tadry February 23, 2013

    I have been with AOL since the late 90’s

  • raymond tadry February 23, 2013

    I have bee with AOL since the late 90’s.

  • damon February 24, 2013

    can you file a claim online?

  • Doolsey February 26, 2013

    Everybody please stop saying how long you’ve been with AOL. Thank you.

  • Lillian Betancourt D February 26, 2013

    I been with all since it started.

  • blanca February 26, 2013

    I’ve been whith aol from 2008 to 2010

  • Chalant Houston February 26, 2013

    I’ve been on aol since the 90’s.

  • Laura February 27, 2013

    Yeah, I’ve been with AOL since 1998. If there is ever a lawsuit filed for AOL’s annual habit of arbitrarily changing one’s plan to a more expensive one without notice, I’m in.

  • Marilee February 27, 2013

    I’ve paid for an AOL account since the 90’s feeling very violated

  • s -spaulding_-fay February 27, 2013

    i have had aol since the 90.s

  • Bernice Collins February 28, 2013

    I was with aol since 2002 and recently changed carriers for obvious reasons. I definately want to be included in this class action law suite.

  • roy clarke March 3, 2013

    member since 2001

  • Liz Graham March 5, 2013

    i was with AOL in the early 2000 if not mistaking.

  • Tim March 10, 2013

    The other big names got away with much worse. I’m among the 2% of my colleagues still using AOL.

  • Shirley Miller March 19, 2013

    I have had aol since 1994/95 and still have it and paid a monthly fee until approx, 2007, because didn’t know you could get it free and they never told me any different. Thanks

  • Sandra Raedel March 21, 2013

    I have been using AOL since 1998 & remain a member. I paid monthly fee of $23.90. I was able to reduce it to $14.95 a month charge in early 2003. I paid such until JUL 2011 {via piggybacking; having obtained an alternate EM address due to owning a website}. AOL never made us aware that you could reduce it, NOR later, get it for free. I only learned by ‘word of mouth’.

  • Ken Russman March 25, 2013

    I have been a member since 1994

  • Shirley Newman March 27, 2013

    I have been with aol since 2001. They charged me for the service, $11.00 monthly even after they told me that if I switched to DSL it would be free. After paying this amount for two years, with DSL, I contacted them and reminded them that aol was suppose to be free, they stopped sending me bills. They did the same thing to my sister, but her amount was over $14.00.

  • Deneace Taylor March 30, 2013

    I’m eligible!

  • Karen Marsack March 31, 2013

    I have AOL since about 2003 and have always paid. I think I still pay on my CC I will have to look.

  • Pearl Payne April 7, 2013

    I’ve been OVER-PAYING long enough, its just not right.

  • Povertymike July 28, 2013

    Bitch where my money?????

  • Clifton Dahl September 25, 2013

    I joined AOL in early 2000. I realize now thta it was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made with my money. Been trying to drop them since December 2012. They do not respond to emails and have conveniently disconnected me when I phone them. A company does not behave in such a devious manner if they are truly a reputable company. Really not sure how to get them out of my life. Any ideas would be appreciated.

  • Jenna October 6, 2013

    Any word on the checks?

  • Candace Sacre November 6, 2013

    I mailed a claim on February 18, 2013, and have heard nothing. The website is down, and the toll-free number is disconnected. Does anyone have information as to the status of this case? I guess I will email the administrator.

  • James November 18, 2013

    I got a check for $100 today in New Jersey.

  • skippydog November 19, 2013

    PA. $50 check came yesterday.

  • nonamedave November 19, 2013

    I started w aol in ’95, stopped paying for service in 2002 although still with them. Don’t remember filing a claim form but I received $100 check yesterday. Don’t know how they got my current address in AZ. . . .

  • AMY November 20, 2013

    who can i call nee my money due they always get theirs

  • Julie November 21, 2013

    Got my $100 yesterday.

  • SAN FRAN November 21, 2013

    I got my check for $50 in the mail yesterday to my surprise..

  • Sharon November 25, 2013

    Was these check direct deposit

  • Jerry Glover January 24, 2014

    where is my check I filled a claim on aol

  • Miguel February 28, 2014

    Somebody must be telling a big fat lie regarding receiving payment from this lawsuit! I have been a member of AOL since 2000 (paying out the ass back then) and submitted my paperwork to receive my $100.00 dollars two years ago! I ain’t receive shit! Nada, nothing! AOL is on bullshit!!! Give me my money you bastards!

  • Abbie October 9, 2014

    How do I apply, I have had aol since the 90s.

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