Harvard Student Sues Google Over Buzz Privacy Breach

Class-action suit seeks to stop Google sharing personal data
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2010 2:34 AM CST
This computer screen shot reveals the company's new "Google Buzz" feature.   (AP Photo/Google Inc.)

(Newser) – A Harvard Law School student has launched a class-action lawsuit against Google Buzz, arguing the social network system violated her and other users' right to privacy. Eva Hibnick was automatically signed up for the network without her consent when she logged onto Gmail and people she hadn't spoken to in months were selected as her followers, she says. Hibnick mentioned her complaints to a classmate, who turned out to be a research assistant for a professor specializing in class-action law.

The complaint is being brought on behalf of all 30 million Gmail users who were opted-in to Buzz, and it seeks injunctions blocking the company from similar actions in future. "It's not so much that we're expecting to get millions of people hundreds of dollars," one of Hibnick's lawyers tells 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."

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