Privacy Groups Urge Judge To Reject Google Settlement Offer, Say It Doesn’t Go Far Enough To Protect Users

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Five privacy groups say Google's $8.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit over privacy doesn't go far enough.

PC World reported that the groups — the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Consumer Watchdog, Patient Privacy Rights, the Center for Digital Democracy and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse — feel the settlement was lacking because it did not require Google to change its business practices.

The settlement relates to a suit filed in October 2010 in which Google was alleged to have "transmitted user search queries to third parties without their knowledge or consent in order to enhance advertising revenue and profitability."

The groups sent a letter to Judge Edward J. Davila on Thursday, urging him to reject the proposed settlement.

"The only change brought about by the proposed settlement is a modification of Google's privacy policy to allow the company to continue the disputed practice," they wrote.

The groups also said the plaintiffs would not receive any monetary recompense. Davila was set to rule on the settlement on Friday.

On Monday, the plaintiffs filed a motion for settlement, PC World reported, and according to that, Google agreed to pay $8.5 million cash. The money won't go to individual users who were infringed.

Some will go for settlement administration expenses and part will be paid to the World Privacy Forum, Carnegie-Mellon, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Stanford Center for Internet and Society among others, according to the document.

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