Google Pays Out £5 Million For Buzz Social Site

Google has backed down over the Buzz Social Networking Service Lawsuit and has agreed to pay a payment of $8.5m (£5.27m).

The suit was filed on behalf of 31 million Gmail subscribers, and alleged that Google had violated privacy laws when it automatically opted Gmail users into the service.

Since the beginning, plaintiffs had claimed that the aim was not to get a financial payout, but to force Google to change its practices and handling of customer data.

The terms of the settlement appear to reflect those aims, and Google will not pay the $8.5m to users but towards establishing and managing groups to promote privacy education on the web.

"The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users' concerns," the company said in a statement. "We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz."

The settlement comes as Google looks to settle a number of legal issues related to its collection and handling of data, particularly the Street View Wi-Fi scandal.

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