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Google Buzz Settlement Fetches $500,000 For Privacy Group EPIC

A US judge has ordered Google to pay $500,000 to an online privacy group in a class action lawsuit brought against its Buzz social networking tool for Gmail.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) had filed a class action lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission against Buzz, claiming that the service violated the privacy of Gmail users.

The search engine giant had chosen to settle the lawsuit with the FTC. Under the settlement agreement, Google had agreed to pay $6 million to several online privacy groups which participated in the lawsuit but had left out EPIC from the settlement.

Naturally, EPIC objected the terms of the settlement, claiming that Google will only pay settlement fee to those privacy groups which receive support from Google ‘lobbying, consulting, or similar services’. Google denied these allegations.

According to a report on Reuters, US District Judge James Ware asked Google to pay EPIC $500,000 in settlement ruling that there was no good cause to exclude EPIC from the settlement.

“EPIC has demonstrated that it is a well-established and respected organization within the field of Internet privacy," Ware wrote in his ruling.