EPIC unhappy over Google-FTC settlement


by CBR Staff Writer| 04 April 2011

Demands $1.75m of the $8.5m privacy fund set up by Google

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed an objection to agreements Google has reached over its social network Buzz because it is not one of the beneficiaries of the privacy fund set up by Google.

EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, it says in its website.

The US privacy group has demanded $1.75m (£1.09m) of the $8.5m (£5.2m) fund, claiming that it is a more independent group than some of the beneficiaries.

Last week, Google reached an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), after an investigation found that Google was wrong to use personal information of Gmail users to create Buzz without seeking prior permission of the users.

Google agreed to undergo a privacy audit for the next 20 years along with a fine.

EPIC, which filed the successful complaint with the FTC that led to the agreement, and some other groups say that the proposed settlement does not satisfy the "cy pres" requirement.

They note that many organisations proposed by Google are currently funded by Google.

EPIC said in its website, "Cy pres" (as near as possible) is a legal doctrine that allows courts to allocate funds to protect the interests of individuals when there is a class action settlement. In such cases, courts are often concerned about collusion between attorneys that produces quick settlements and does not protect the interests of the class members.

Post a comment

Comments may be moderated for spam, obscenities or defamation.
Privcy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.