After launching Google Buzz to the masses within Gmail, the search engine giant has faced harsh criticism from users (at least within the US) over various privacy issues with the service.
Now the company is apparently setting aside millions of dollars in order to help pacify the legal complaints against the company.
A class action Settlement has been reached with Google Inc. (“Google”) that resolves litigation about privacy concerns arising out of Googleâ€™s social networking program, Google Buzz. The Plaintiffs allege that Google automatically enrolled Gmail users in Buzz, and that Buzz publicly exposed data, including usersâ€™ most frequent Gmail contacts, without enough user consent. Google denies the accuracy of Plaintiffsâ€™ allegations and denies that it violated any law or caused any harm by the launch of Google Buzz.
Although Google is still maintaining its innocence regarding the matter, the settlement is a way for the company to pacify their vocal critics in order to move beyond the uproar Google Buzz created.
For those willing to litigate, Google is offering Americans the option to exclude themselves from the settlement (if they desire to sue Google with their own attorney) or forfeit their legal complaints by doing nothing.
Lawsuits and settlements aside, Google is still struggling to make Google Buzz relevant with the masses, and it will be interesting to see whether or not Google shuts down Buzz in the future (like they did with Google Wave) and focus on other projects instead.