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Google Buzz – The $8.5m Lesson

Google Buzz took a lot of hits at the beginning for misusing privacy of end users. In fact, they were sued for their misuse of data. “The Plaintiffs allege[d] that Google automatically enrolled Gmail users in Buzz, and that Buzz publicly exposed data, including users’ most frequent Gmail contacts, without enough user consent.” Well they’ve reached a settlement. Google is establishing an $8.5m fund which will be used to focus on internet privacy and education. This is a pretty small slap on the wrist relative to the size of Google but hopefully it’s a lesson to them about releasing a beta app that can have such serious ramifications so eventually (despite the little wifi thing) they’ll understand that if they commit a privacy no-no, they’ll have to deal with it both in the media and the pocketbook.