Google says Buzz privacy complaints are false, settles for cash anyway

When Google released Google Buzz in February, there was a backlash. The backlash became, in turn, a lawsuit. That lawsuit has now been settled. In a note to users, Google explained the settlement, reports ReadWriteWeb.

“The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users’ concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the web.”

The backlash and subsquent lawsuit centered on Google’s default signing up of every Google user for the service without permission. We described the complaints in our February post.

“The most common complaint among many is that when Google automatically signed Gmail users up for the service, it auto-followed the people they talked with the most, publicly, exposing connections users would otherwise reasonably expect to remain private. Other complaints range from how easy it is to hack Google’s numeric profile URL, revealing a user’s Gmail address, to revealing a user’s geo-location.”

The settlement is a turnaround if not an outright a contradiction…

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