Google PR move is part of settlement

Yesterday, Google dropped an e-mail message into the inbox of all its Gmail users.

Yesterday, Google dropped an e-mail message into the inbox of all its Gmail users.

The e-mail stated that Google made an exception to its policy not to contact users via e-mail to spread the news  it reached a settlement in the lawsuit over Google Buzz. While the e-mail at first seems like it was driven by Google, a disclaimer appears at the bottom:

“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.”

Inquiries made by PRWeek to Google were directed to an overview of the settlement and a press release. We were also referred to section 5.2 in the settlement agreement, which states:

5.2 The notice program set forth in paragraph 5.1, above, shall be established, and the emails and joint press release sent, within thirty (30) days of entry of the Preliminary Approval Order.  Notice under 5.1(2) and (3), above, shall be implemented and paid for by Google.  The costs associated with the Settlement Website and the fees and costs of the Class Action Administrator, including payment for Notice-related work, shall be paid out of the Common Fund.  Any amounts expended on the notice described in paragraph 5.1 are non- refundable even if the Court does not enter the Final Order and Judgment. 

As part of the settlement, Google will set up an $8.5 million fund to go to organizations focused on Internet privacy policy and privacy education as well as lawyers' fees, costs, and expenses from the lawsuit. Google also agreed in the settlement to do more to educate users about the privacy aspects of Google Buzz.

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