Thursday, November 11, 2010

Google Buzz Class Action Settlement

Se pare ca s-a ajuns la un settlement pentru class action-ul Google Buzz. Iaca si  e-mailul primit de la   Google de catre fiecare utilizator gmail din US.

"Google rarely contacts Gmail users via email, but we are making an exception to let you know that we've reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Google Buzz (, a service we launched within Gmail in February of this year.

Shortly after its launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and recently reached a settlement in this case.
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. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be.
Just to be clear, this is not a settlement in which people who use Gmail can file to receive compensation. Everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010. The Court will consider final approval of the agreement on January 31, 2011. This email is a summary of the settlement, and more detailed information and instructions approved by the court, including instructions about how to opt out, object, or comment, are available at
This mandatory announcement was sent to all Gmail users in the United States as part of a legal settlement and was authorized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043 "
Si de fapt de unde a plecat totul:

But, how did it all start?

And why?
The story might surprise you -- and, at the same time, will likely not be much of a surprise at all.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 17 million underemployed college graduates.
Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees).
80,000 bartenders have degrees.
18,000 parking lot attendants are college grads.
When it comes to law school, obviously, after investing a few hundred thousand dollars in a J.D., students are highly concerned with post-graduate employment.
Any reasonable assumption would hold that Harvard Law students Eva Hibnick and Ben Osborn are no different, and didn’t relish the idea of working at the Olive Garden (DRI) or Taco Bell (YUM) after they received their sheepskins.
Eva Hibnick? Ben Osborne? Who?
Let’s backtrack to February this year.
On February 9, Eva Hibnick, a second-year student at Harvard Law, logged onto her Gmail account and saw that she, like Gmail’s 31.2 million other users, had been automatically signed up for Google Buzz.
Hibnick, not realizing how to deactivate the service, complained to classmate Ben Osborn about what she deemed a privacy breach.
Being an ambitious young Harvard man, Osborn suggested to Hibnick that she may have a legal case.
Osborn took his idea to Professor William B. Rubenstein, for whom he happened to be working as a research assistant, learning the ropes of Rubenstein’s specialty -- which happens to be… class action lawsuits.
Rubenstein contacted Washington, D.C. attorney Gary Mason, and, in short order, Eva Hibnick filed suit against Google in California’s San Jose federal court on behalf of 31.2 million people that may or may not have had the same complaints as she -- with Rubenstein and Osborn serving as independent legal consultants.
Hibnick alleged breaches of several federal laws, including the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the Federal Stored Communications Act, as well as California common and statutory law.
Not a bad endeavor to include on the resume of a fellow like Ben Osborn, who would be graduating only a few months later.
Or Eva Hibnick, who is due to graduate this spring.
Or William Rubenstein, for that matter. According to his faculty page, he has a sideline gig as an expert witness in class actions.
He was apparently quite impressed with Osborn’s go-getter attitude.
"[Osborn’s] identification of this as an issue reflects the fact that these social networking sites are a concern of the student generation,” Rubenstein told the student paper. “The most important thing about this case to me is the initiative my students have shown.”
Osborn even admitted he wasn’t certain if Google had intentionally violated users’ privacy.
“I don’t know what Google’s motive is in all of this,” he said. “I think they were just trying to jump-start their social network.”
And could someone about to graduate Harvard Law with a boatload of student debt have been trying to jump-start his career?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi, new to the site, thanks.