The Secure Times

An online forum of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Privacy and Information Security Committee

Google Faces International Lawsuit Over Privacy Breach Caused by Buzz Tool

Leave a comment

In early January 2011, Canadian consumers brought a class action against Google regarding a privacy breach caused by Google’s Buzz social networking and messaging tool. The lawsuit, filed in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench alleged that Google breached consumers’ privacy because the Buzz tool’s default settings allowed users to view private profile information about other users without consent. Under Canadian privacy law, consumers may collect up to $5,000 per consumer in damages for each privacy breach.

A number of privacy advocates and consumers have expressed concerns over Google’s Buzz tool since its launch in early 2010. In February 2010, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), urging an FTC investigation and alleging that Google’s Buzz “violated user expectations, diminished user privacy, contradicted Google’s privacy policy, and may have violated federal wiretap laws.” Further, in November 2010, Google settled a U.S. class action relating to privacy protections for $8.5 million. Finally, a number of countries’ privacy commissioners and data protection authorities, including Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom, sent a letter to Google in April 2010, expressing concern over the Buzz tool and directing Google and other international corporations to respect individuals’ privacy rights.

Advertisements

Author: ABA Antitrust

Learn more about the ABA Section of Antitrust Law: http://ambar.org/antitrust

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s