San Francisco
– Despite the company’s attempts to address negative feedback by beefing up the
privacy features on its new Buzz social features within Gmail, Google (NASD:  GOOG) now faces
a class action lawsuit over the new service, according to reports. Law firms in
San Francisco and D.C. on Wednesday filed a
class action complaint in federal court in California
on behalf of Eva Hibnick, a 24-year-old Harvard Law
School student, ABC News reported.

The lawsuit alleges that Google Buzz violates the Federal Electronic Communications
Privacy Act, Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Federal Stored
Communications Act and various California
state laws.

Hibnick told ABC she was "concerned that Google Buzz had
publicly disclosed her personal relationships."

The class action complaint
seeks an injunction against further similar privacy breaches by Google, in
addition to unspecified monetary damages.

"It’s not so much that we’re
expecting to get millions of people hundreds of dollars," Gary E. Mason,
an attorney representing Hibnick, told ABC News.

"What we’d like to see as
result is a commitment from Google that they’re not going to do this again the next
time they launch a product."

The lawsuit follows on the heels of a
complaint about Buzz filed with the Federal Trade Commission by privacy
watchdog the Electronic
Privacy Information


Related Links:

(S.F. Chronicle)
(ABC News)
(DMW previous coverage)


  1. It is quite amazing how large co-orporations like Google think they can get away with breaching privacy laws. I am sure they are not the only ones who have done so (or do so). But I am glad that such privacy breachers are being caught and that something is done about it. Eventhough in my opinion it isn’t enough. Whether companies breach them subtly through products like Google’s Buzz, or an outright blatant misconduct, they should be punished.