In re Google Buzz Privacy Litigation

Case # 10-cv-00672
Case Name In re Google Buzz Privacy Litigation
Jurisdiction US District Court for N.D. CA
Summary

Google automatically added the Google Buzz service to the accounts of all users of its Gmail service.  This new service disclosed private data, including contact information, to users' frequent email contacts.  Google Buzz was installed without giving customers an option to opt in, or even providing sufficient information about the service and what data would be shared.  Google itself even admitted that the service presented privacy concerns.

Final Approval Date 05/31/2011
Result
  1. Final Approval granted.
  2. All objections were overruled.
  3. All serially objection attorneys and clients below appealed the Final Approval.
  4. All appeals were voluntarily dismissed.
Dismissal of Last Appeal 11/21/2011
Attachments Docket Report.pdf
Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint.pdf
Preliminary Approval Order.pdf
Plaintiff's Response to Objections.pdf
Final Approval Order.pdf
Dismissal of All Appeals.pdf
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Objection of Brent Clifton, Warren Sibley

Objectors Brent Clifton
Warren Sibley
Signers Thomas L. Cox Jr.
Attorneys Thomas L. Cox Jr.
Summary
  1. Allocation of funds is improper.
    • Attorneys, class representatives, and cy pres recipients receive compensation while class members receive nothing.
  2. Class representatives have a conflict of interest with the class, given the differing compensation.
  3. Settlement shows signs of self-dealing.
  4. Effect of paying the settlement may cause Defendant to raise prices, which damages class members who wish to continue using their services.
  5. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
    • Should be nominal.
  6. Cy pres provisions are improper.
Attachments Objection of Brent Clifton and Warren Sibley.pdf
Appeal of Objectors Clifton and Sibley.pdf
Cox Appearance for Clifton and Sibley Objector-Appellants.pdf
Clifton and Sibley Appeal Docket.pdf
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Objection of Kervin Walsh

Objectors Kervin Walsh
Signers Kervin Walsh
Martin Murphy
Attorneys Martin Murphy
Christopher A. Bandas
Summary
  1. Requirement to mail objection is overly burdensome.
  2. Injunctive relief is illusory.
    • Reflects changes that Google had already made.
  3. Settlement provides no relief to the class.
  4. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
  5. Insufficient information is available for evaluating the attorneys' fee request.

NOTE:  Christopher Bandas filed his appearance on the appeal.

Attachments Objection of Kervin Walsh.pdf
Appeal of Objector Walsh.pdf
Bandas Appearance for Objector-Appellant Walsh.pdf
Walsh Appeal Docket.pdf
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Objection of Megan Marek

Objectors Megan Marek
Signers John W. Davis
Attorneys John W. Davis
Summary
  1. All monetary relief goes to cy pres recipients, not the class.
  2. Release is overbroad.
  3. Class members may have suffered substantial damages beyond the de minimis damages contemplated by the settlement.
  4. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
  5. Class representative awards are improper.
Attachments Objection of Megan Marek.pdf
Appeal of Objector Marek.pdf
Marek Appeal Docket.pdf
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Objection of Steven P. Cope

Objectors Steven P. Cope
Signers Joseph Darrell Palmer
Attorneys Joseph Darrell Palmer
Summary
  1. Case is more suitable for trial than for settlement.
  2. Settlement is premature, since damages cannot be determined.
    • Class counsel appears to marginalize the damages suffered by the class.
  3. No justification is provided for the $8.5 million settlement amount.
  4. Cy pres recipients must be identified.
  5. Injunctive relief is illusory.
  6. Opt-out period is too short.
  7. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
Attachments Objection of Steven Cope.pdf
Cope Reply in Support of Objection.pdf
Appeal of Objector Cope.pdf
Cope Appeal Docket.pdf
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Objection of Jon M. Zimmerman, Tanya Rudgayzer, Alison Jackson

Objectors Jon M. Zimmerman
Tanya Rudgayzer
Alison Jackson
Signers Joshua R. Furman
Jeffrey P. Harris
Daniel A. Osborn
Attorneys Joshua R. Furman
Jeffrey P. Harris
Alan J. Stratman
Daniel A. Osborn
Summary
  1. Monetary relief is inadequate.
  2. Cy pres distribution is excessive.
  3. Injunctive relief is illusory.
Attachments Objection of Jon M. Zimmerman.pdf
Objection of Tanya Rudgayzer.pdf
Renewed Objection of Zimmerman et al.pdf
Appeal of Zimmerman et al Objectors.pdf
Zimmerman et al Appeal Docket.pdf
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