Here is an article about when the Supreme Court kicked the case back to the Appellate court earlier this year, which goes a bit deeper into the legal issues behind it: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/seattle-area-att-employees-bri...
Giving to law schools has also been a popular choice of Google's, often completely inexplicably coinciding with papers from those law schools supporting Google's legal positions, though there doesn't seem to be any overlap between the list in the link above and the universities being handed money here.
That's a love-pat, figuratively coming out of petty cash.
> had been accused of exploiting loopholes in Apple Inc’s Safari and Microsoft Corp’s Internet Explorer browsers to help advertisers bypass cookie blockers.
Circumventing/exploiting security measures/vulnerabilities, to gain unauthorized access to a computer system, with intent to secretly violate the privacy of large numbers of people?
> He also called the awards to the privacy groups “particularly concerning.”
Wouldn't it be better here for a privacy group to drop a dime (to federal authorities), than to take the money?
The other thing about those privacy groups? "Including some with ties to Google".
$300 million of the settlement was designated to go to individuals who suffered specific harms (identity theft, etc) due to the breach.
And additional 31 million was designated to go to other people who's information was stolen but didn't suffer additional harms due to the theft.