Google just sent out an email regarding its settlement of the class action lawsuit initiated by Google users who felt that the new Google feature, Google Buzz launch earlier this year, was a violation of their privacy. Google users have until December 31st to opt out of their Google services as a result of the settlement. Additionally, Google has donated $8.5 million to Internet privacy awareness groups to assist with increasing Internet users knowledge regarding their privacy rights.
Google Buzz is a service that instantly updates and publishes your new Google chat status to another site, Google Buzz for people to check and see what is happening with you. Google chat users could not update their status without having it automatically post to Google Buzz, under my understanding of the service. It was basically akin to a Twitter feed.
Google’s email indicates that changes have been made in response to this class-action settlement, but does not define exactly what those changes are. I wonder what the impact will be on the use of Google, Google chat, and advertising revenues as a result of this settlement. I do find it interesting that no Google users are to receive any funds from the settlement, just the changes to Google Buzz and the nominal donation to Internet privacy groups.