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Google Settles Buzz Suit

(CN) - Google announced that it reached an $8.5 million settlement with a class of 31 million Gmail users who accused the company of exposing personal information without their consent through a feature called "Google Buzz."

The Buzz program allows users to post updates, photos and videos for "followers" to view, but Google allegedly linked all Gmail users' accounts to Buzz without their permission and users were not informed that they had to opt out of the feature.

In the settlement notice, Google said it has made changes to Google Buzz to protect users' privacy and "will do more to educate users about the privacy aspects of Google Buzz."

The $8.5 million settlement will go into a "common fund" established by Google to "fund organizations focused on Internet privacy policy or privacy education, as well as to cover lawyers' fees and costs and other expenses."

U.S. District Judge James Ware preliminarily approved the settlement.

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