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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

GOOGLE GETS A COURTLY BUZZ CUT


ANOTHER CLASSY ACTION MOVE:
We won't see any honey from this buzzin' bee, either.


By Ed Gauthier
Google Gawker

Got a little laugh from the gigglers at Google right in the middle of Election Day 2010. That's what I call perfect timing, people!

Date: Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 12:30 PM
Subject: Important Information about
Google Buzz Class Action Settlement


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 (http://buzz.google.com), 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 http://www.BuzzClassAction.com.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
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.
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AND NOW THE RESPONSE I SENT TO THEM

Dear Google guys and gals,

So Google got buzzed, huh? Well, I get real sick of receiving all these announcements about a "massive national settlement" wherein none of us "victims" ever sees one thin dime. Over the years, I've gotten this same stuff from K-Mart, Target, SEARS, RCA, Toyota - you name it. Someone is always suing them, they're always losing large "class action lawsuits," and, if we the customers don't "opt out," we'll see some money someday.

Well... we're still waiting! It's been years and none of us have seen a single thing from anybody. And now Google stubbed their legal toe, too? So what? We all know we're (once agagin) not going to see a thing! Where do all those millions of bucks GO from all those "lost" lawsuits? Nobody seems to know, since none of it ever goes to US! Same old, same old.

Have a nice day, Google. Unless you want to opt out of it, that is.

- Ed Gauthier

>>>>>>

UPDATE: A day or two later, Google's response to my hilarious comments was basically, "Hey, don't blame Google - the courts MADE us send out that dumb settlement notice."

Really? So Google either has no conscience or has already forgotten WHY such a notice had to be sent out in the first place? You know, the minor fact that they DID SOMETHING VERY WRONG. Nice going, guys - remind me not to let you handle my financial affairs - EVER.