Google to pay 8.5 million dollars to settle Buzz case

Sep 03, 2010
A sign is posted outside of the Google headquarters January 2010 in Mountain View, California. Google has agreed to pay 8.5 million dollars (US) to settle a privacy lawsuit over a Buzz social networking tool added to free email service Gmail in February, according to court documents.

Google has agreed to pay 8.5 million dollars (US) to settle a privacy lawsuit over a Buzz social networking tool added to free email service Gmail in February, according to court documents.

Legal paperwork made available online Friday detailed the proposed settlement, which awaits approval by the federal court judge in San Francisco presiding over the case.

Lawyers that filed the class-action suit staked out 30 percent of the settlement money and the seven named plaintiffs were to get no more than 2,500 dollars each, according to court documents.

The rest of the money, which is to deposit in a fund, was earmarked for organizations devoted to Internet privacy policy or education.

The settlement also called on the California-based Internet giant to do more to educate people about privacy at Buzz.

Facing a slew of privacy complaints in the wake of the Buzz launch, Google has made changes to the new tool.

"Google has made changes to the Google Buzz user interface that clarify Google Buzz's operation and users' options regarding Google Buzz," the settlement maintained.

Among the concerns aired in technology blogs and elsewhere was that Google Buzz was taking a user's Gmail contacts and automatically adding them to their public Buzz social network.

Gmail users now have to create a Google Buzz public profile and can view, edit or hide lists of people in their online circles.

Google also gave users the ability to block anyone following their account.

Buzz allows users to get updates about what friends are doing online and offers ways to share video, photos and other digitized snippets.

Buzz has been described by some technology analysts as a direct challenge by Google to social networking stars and Twitter.

The court filing came as Google updated its privacy policy.

"We're simplifying and updating Google's privacy policies," Google associate general counsel Mike Yang said Friday in a blog post.

"To be clear, we aren't changing any of our privacy practices; we want to make our policies more transparent and understandable."

On Thursday, a nonprofit consumer group that has been hounding Google about privacy released a satirical video cartoon featuring the Internet firm's chief giving away ice cream to snoop on children.

Google noted that information about its privacy tools can be found online at google.com/.

Explore further: UN General Assembly OKs digital privacy resolution

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Privacy group files FTC complaint on Google Buzz

Feb 16, 2010

(AP) -- A privacy watchdog group complained to federal regulators on Tuesday about Google's new Buzz social networking service, saying it violates federal consumer protection law.

Google updates privacy policy

Sep 03, 2010

Google updated its privacy policy on Friday, a day after a video cartoon featuring the Internet firm's chief giving away ice cream to snoop on children aired on a giant screen in Times Square.

10 nations tell Google of privacy concern on Buzz

Apr 20, 2010

(AP) -- Officials from Germany, Canada, France and seven other countries are raising privacy concerns to Google over the online search leader's fumbled foray into social networking along with other matters.

Recommended for you

UN General Assembly OKs digital privacy resolution

1 hour ago

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution demanding better digital privacy protections for people around the world, another response to Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. government spying.

Online privacy to remain thorny issue: survey

2 hours ago

Online privacy will remain a thorny issue over the next decade, without a widely accepted system that balances user rights and personal data collection, a survey of experts showed Thursday.

Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Dec 16, 2014

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.