Objection to Google’s $8.5M Privacy Deal

Consumer advocacy group cries foul
Objection to Google's $8.5M Privacy Deal

Image Credits: scobleizer / Flickr

by Courthouse News | August 13, 2014


A federal judge should not let Google pay $8.5 million to settle multitrillion-dollar allegations over its leak of user information, a consumer advocacy group complained.

The Center for Class Action Fairness, on behalf of objectors Melissa Holyoak and Theodore Frank, said “class members will see not one penny” of the settlement, which calls for the money to be donated to various nonprofits.

Paloma Gaos led the class action, which claims that Google violated its privacy policy by sharing search queries with third parties without the user knowing or giving permission. The queries were included in referrer headers, which identify the page containing the link the user clicked on to request the webpage. Some of the information passed on to third parties can potentially offer clues to users’ identities, the lawsuit said.

The six cy pres organizations that will receive $6 million of the settlement are Carnegie Mellon University, World Privacy Forum, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Stanford Law, Harvard’s Berkman Center and the AARP Foundation.

Remaining funds would cover attorneys’ fees, notice and administration costs, and incentive awards for the class representative.

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