Codebreaker

Google to pay huge settlement, you to not get any

John Moe Nov 3, 2010

When Google launched Google Buzz there were some glaring privacy holes in it. They were trying to set up the next big social network and so defaulted your contacts into your friends and making that easy for everyone to see. So anyone could know who you contacted the most. Yow. There were problems with divorce cases and other situations. So they changed it, got sued anyway, and finally settled. Yesterday, Google sent out an email to Gmail users saying the case was settled but individual Gmail users were not eligible for any money from the 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.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.