About 7 months ago Google had a lawsuit brought against them by a Florida woman named Eva Hibnick over Google Buzz. Hibnick claimed that Google broke electronic communications laws related to the privacy of its users. Today it was announced that the company decided to pay a huge settlement to the tune of $8.5 million.
Google Buzz has been riddled with criticism from its on-set and has made many changes to their privacy regulations since then. Just a few days after it launched, certain features were tweaked like auto-follow becoming auto-suggest, the ability to hide Buzz from your Gmail account, and it no longer connecting to Reader or Picasa. A few weeks after that, Buzz did a “privacy reset” which had users go through and edit their privacy settings to make them just what they wanted them to be.
Regardless of these changes, Hibnick and her lawyers pressed on with their case. Seven plaintiffs were named in the suit and each of them are said to be receiving about $2,500 each, 30% of the sum will be going to pay lawyers fees and the rest of the money will be donated to organizations that help promote user awareness of Internet privacy. Along with the hefty payout, Google must also do more to educate users about Google Buzz and its impact on their privacy.