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Google Buzz User Privacy Litigation Class Action Settlement Website (buzzclassaction.com)
35 points by arfrank 2579 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

All these class action lawsuits are essentially "lawyer enrichment schemes" note that the lawyers, for basically finding a few GMail users willing to attach their name to a suit, will get well over $2 Million for what, a month's work, if that?

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.

Hmm, looks like it was basically settled for nothing, which indicates a weak case, but one that wasn't worth it to Google to litigate. They agreed to pay $8.5m, which will be split among lawyers and a donation to some privacy nonprofits, which is not much money for Google. If you're clicking through to find out what you get as a class member, the answer is nothing, apart from some mild injunctive relief that seems to involve things Google's already changed anyway.

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).

> If you're clicking through to find out what you get as a class member, the answer is nothing, apart from some mild injunctive relief that seems to involve things Google's already changed anyway.

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.

Just thinking of all the ways to spend it! Let's see ... that's 8.5 million divided by 4 lawyers, leaves about $2 leftover for the remaining 20 million users.

I thought you were exaggerating greatly, but it turns out you were not that far off...

"Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees of 25% of the Common Fund, plus reimbursement of costs and expenses."


Two dollars is still two dollars.

When a company might suspect a class action lawsuit is coming, wouldn't the prudent thing be to have some friendly lawyers represent the Class of everyone that could ever possibly sue and settle for something a minuscule as this?

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?)

Should I say it's lucky not to have Class Action in the place I live so that nobody could sue anyone one my behalf without consent and can ask for 25% of the settlement for a settlement that doesn't benefit myself? IS this democracy or what?

This website reminds me of a Nigerian scam, at first, I thought it was due to its 2001 style !

why don't they just throw an $8 million dollar masquerade "privacy" party?

anyone going to opt out and try to sue themselves? I'm totally peeved about what they did.

I'm going to opt out because I object to these lawyers claiming they're acting on my behalf in suing Google without my consent. I understand that this is considered legally acceptable for class actions in the United States, but I don't think it is reasonable or ethical. You should need explicit authorization to claim to represent any competent adult.

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...

What is a larger privacy violation, Google Buzz or opting out of the class action lawsuit?

Wouldn't an email sent from your gmail on that date be sufficient? The sent mail box could be faked but I think it would be sufficient evidence for this purpose.

When they say stuff like that they just want to you write that you used it.

They way a lawyer uses the word "proof" is not remotely related to the way a scientist uses it.

I would hope you're right, except:

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.

it is odd that not all my gmail accounts got that email

They've been sending them out progressively. (I've received 3 over the past 5 hours.)

I got an email from Google about this, and immediately filed it as spam.

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