Go research, if you want, any class action lawsuit involving automobile problems, such as the VW/Audi engine sludge issue, and see how lawyers routinely get cold hard cash up front while the people whose rights were violated or had real, actual problems with the product provided them, get coupons to the equivalent of a free Big Mac.
It's not even necessarily something Google would object to much, because the privacy nonprofits sometimes help them (someone like the EFF is a thorn in Google's side sometimes, but advocates issues Google supports other times).
Commensurate with the actual harm done. But it's possible for someone to opt out of the class if they think they can do better for themselves.
"Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees of 25% of the Common Fund, plus reimbursement of costs and expenses."
It seems like I've likely been included in Classes without knowing it in the past, what is the legal recourse if you decide to sue after a catch-all like this has happened and you never received the mail/email? (Like say you stopped using gmail after this?)
And for what it's worth, I never got my feathers too ruffled by the Buzz thing anyway.
EDIT: And the notice document says you'll need to snail mail all of the following to our intrepid lawyers in order to opt out: "your full name, address, reason why you want out of the Settlement" -- best of all, a nebulous "proof that you used Gmail at some point after February 9, 2010" -- plus "your signature, and the date." What exactly will be accepted as proof? Convenient how they don't bother to tell us. I'm assuming they won't accept OAuth tokens...
They way a lawyer uses the word "proof" is not remotely related to the way a scientist uses it.
1. If all they're after is an assertion that you've used Gmail in that time frame... well, that's already implied by the fact that you've received a notification of the class action and are replying to it.
2. The notice is written colloquially, not in lawyer speak, and the audience is the general public, so it seems more reasonable to take "proof" to mean "evidence" here.