Thursday, November 4, 2010

Google Settles Suit Over Buzz And Privacy

Google informed users of its Gmail service Tuesday evening that it had settled a class action lawsuit brought against it by some users who were upset by the way the company rolled out its Buzz social networking service.
You may remember it. Last February the company announced the service to its millions of Gmail users, who then discovered that their network of Buzz friends was created from their list of Gmail contacts. People they corresponded with, but who were not necessarily friends, were suddenly grouped together, and in some cases the contact lists were made public. A considerable amount of consternation resulted. Google quickly retreated .
But the settlement of the lawsuit wont result in any monetary compensation for Gmail users. Instead, Google is putting $8.5 million into an independent fund that it says will be used to support organizations promoting education about privacy on the Web. Google said: 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.
Anyone who wants to object to the settlement must do so with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose before Jan. 10. No word yet on how much the lawyers will get.
(c) 2010 The New York Times Company

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