Report: Google Sued Again Over Google Buzz Privacy

Chris CrumBusiness

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MediaPost is reporting that three Gmail users filed a lawsuit against Google this week in relation to privacy violations from the Google Buzz launch.

Google Buzz, in case your memory of Internet happenings doesn't extend that far back, was an earlier attempt of Google's at social media, launched about a year and a half before Google+ came out. It was introduced as part of Gmail, and launched to a huge backlash over privacy issues.

Google officially killed off Buzz in October of 2011, when it was listed along with Code Search, Jaiku and some iGoogle social features as products that Google would stop supporting.

“Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past,” said Google's Bradley Horowitz at the time. “We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+."

That same month, the Federal Trade Commission finalized a settlement with Google over Buzz, which it had announced earlier that year. It resolved Google of charges that it used deceptive tactics and violated privacy promises to consumers, but barred the company from future privacy "misrepresentations" and required Google to implement a "comprehensive privacy program," and called for independent privacy audits for 20 years.

Even since then, Google has run into privacy issues with the FTC over the whole Safari-gate debacle, which saw Google paying $22.5 million.

Google had previously agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle class-action litigation regarding Google Buzz. According to MediaPost, this week's claimants objected to that settlement, and filed new court papers with the Eastern District of New York. Apparently one of them also is looking to represent a class of 500 other users who opted out of the initial settlement.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.