Google just sent out an email to all Gmail users about their Google Buzz Class Action Settlement. But which organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the web is Google giving $8.5 million to? If "most" of the money is going to support organizations in an independent fund then where is the rest of it going to? Google would be better served to create an independent organization to educate consumers online while working with existing organizations. With Google's clout and connections they could effectively set up an industry standard for privacy tantamount to ICANN.
They COULD, but they didn't. This is basically a write-off from Google, as $8.5 million is chump change to them considering they're a multibillion dollar business. We'll just have to wait and see how this develops.
*The highlighting is added for emphasis. Nothing was deleted from the email except the To: field was deleted.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Google Buzz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 3:30 PM
Subject: Important Information about Google Buzz Class Action Settlement
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 (http://buzz.google.com
), 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 http://www.BuzzClassAction.com
This mandatory announcement was sent to all Gmail users in the United States as part of a legal settlement and was authorized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
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