04 September 2010

US - Google settles Buzz lawsuit for $8.5M

Google will pay $8.5 million to settle a privacy lawsuit filed in the wake of the Google Buzz launch. The social-media service was heavily criticized for automatically including users' frequent Gmail contacts on public Buzz profiles when it first went live in February. Google scrambled to make changes to give users better clarity about how the privacy settings worked, but that didn't prevent lawsuits such as the one filed by Gmail user Eva Hibnick in February. Proceeds from the settlement - after the lawyers get paid, of course - will be donated to as-yet unspecified Internet privacy groups. Google is also required to "undertake wider public education about the privacy aspects of Buzz," although no specifics were provided. Google will, however, have to notify all Gmail users that it has reached a settlement.