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What the Google Buzz Lawsuit Means to You

Posted on November 4, 2010 by Josh Mc

Almost as soon as it was out, there was complaints about Google Buzz and how it affected privacy. These complaints led to a lawsuit, which ended in a settlement, and Google giving $8.5 million dollars to an independent fund which will support better privacy on the web. However, for the Buzz user, this settlement doesn't mean a whole lot. There is no ability to receive compensation as a result of the privacy infringements, but you can rest assured that there is a company somewhere that is $8.5 million dollars richer and hope that it will affect privacy in the future.

See the original email from Google below and weigh in in the comments.

"Google rarely contacts Gmail users via email, but we are making an exception to let you know that we've reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Google Buzz (, a service we launched within Gmail in February of this year.

Shortly after its launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and recently reached a settlement in this case.

The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users' concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the web. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be.

Just to be clear, this is not a settlement in which people who use Gmail can file to receive compensation. Everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010. The Court will consider final approval of the agreement on January 31, 2011. This email is a summary of the settlement, and more detailed information and instructions approved by the court, including instructions about how to opt out, object, or comment, are available at"


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