Google pays $8.5 mn for privacy leaks

September 7th, 2010 by James

Google pays $8.5 mn for privacy leaksAccording to court documents, Google has agreed to make a payment of $8.5 million for settling a privacy lawsuit over a Buzz social networking tool that was added to free email service Gmail in February.

Google Buzz was taking Gmail contacts of a user and automatically adding them to their public Buzz social network.

From Timesofindia.indiatimes.com:

Legal paperwork made available online 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 per cent of the settlement money and the seven named plaintiffs were to get no more than $2,500 each, according to court documents.

The rest of the money, which Google 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 social networking 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.

From now on, users of Gmail will have to create a Google Buzz public profile for viewing, editing, or hiding lists of people in their social online circles.

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