Google stumps up $8.5 million to settle Buzz case

Search engine giant Google’s decision to make Buzz do things people didn’t want it to do has cost it dearly.

The company said it has reached a settlement in a lawsuit by Gmail users, alleging that Buzz breached their privacy.

Google is to set up an $8.5 million fund, most of which will be doled out to organisations concentrating on privacy and policy on the internet. It will also “make additional efforts to educate users on the privacy aspect of Buzz,” it said in a statement.

An unnamed Google spinner said that his company was satisfied with the agreement “and is glad to move forward”.  He claimed that Google has “always been committed to offering users transparency and choice in Buzz”.

The settlement has to be approved, but there’s no doubt Google hopes it has drawn a line over the Buzz thing.  It has yet to draw a line under the Street View furore – apart, apparently from the USA and the UK. Government organisations in both countries have appeared to come to the conclusion that Google is really Goodie Two Shoes.

Details of the class action are here.