Supreme Court Remands Controversial Cy Pres Deal

March 20, 2019

The Supreme Court today sent Frank v. Gaos back to the lower courts because the Court could not decide if the proposed settlement in a privacy case was "fair, reasonable, and adequate" or if the case was properly before the Court. The case involves Google's disclosure of search histories to third parties without consent, a business practice that could violate several privacy laws. Under the terms of the settlement, there was no benefit to Internet users and Google was not prohibited from continuing the allegedly unlawful practice. In an amicus brief, EPIC stated, "the proposed settlement is bad for consumers and does nothing to change Google's business practices." EPIC and several organization objected to the original settlement on three separate occasions. EPIC routinely opposes settlements that fail to provide an actual benefit to Internet users. In this case, the Justices ordered the parties to address whether the Spokeo v. Robbins decision permits consumer privacy to go forward. EPIC filed a brief in Spokeo in support of consumers, and has filed similar briefs siding with consumers in several other cases.

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