Google Settles Buzz Lawsuit, Allocates Funds for Internet Privacy Groups

Google has entered into a settlement agreement in a class action suit concerning the social network service Buzz. With Buzz, Google made private email contacts of Gmail susbcribers publicly available without consent. Gmail users filed a class action lawsuit. The plaintiffs alleged violations of federal privacy and consumer fraud laws. As part of the settlement agreement, Google will establish an $8.5 million settlement fund to pay the attorneys, compensate the lead plaintiffs, and establish a cy pres fund for "existing organizations focused on Internet privacy policy or privacy education." Earlier this year, EPIC raised similar concerns about Google Buzz in a formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. EPIC has also objected to a settlement in the Facebook Beacon case on the grounds that the settlement would allow Facebook, the defendant, to control the private foundation established by the settlement. The Google settlement would not establish a similar entity. For more information see EPIC: In re Google Buzz.

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