Google gets Buzzed with a class action lawsuit

Law firms in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. file a class action lawsuit accusing Google's Buzz service of breaking various electronic communications laws.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

What is more surprising? The fact that Google claims it was taken aback by the negative reaction to its Buzz feature, the one that ventured to make public your most frequent e-mail contacts? Or the fact that a couple of law firms have got together to present Google with a class action lawsuit?

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, law firms in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. have filed a suit on behalf of Eva Hibnick. Hibnick is a Florida woman who has been chosen to represent the many Gmail users who felt, well, used, when Google launched Buzz.

Hibnick's fine lawyers reportedly accuse Google of breaking all sorts of laws with respect to legal communications. Specifically, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is alleged to have been contravened.

"Oh, buzz off, will you?" CC Mobial/Flickr

This act's provisions seem to cover such infractions as "Compromising the Confidentiality of a Computer" and "Knowing Transmission and Intentional Damage." So it will be fascinating what the budding John Edwards will construct to create their arguments.

Strangely, the lawsuit reportedly asks for an assurance that Google, which says it has not yet seen the lawsuit, will not repeat its Buzzing actions in years to come and asks for unspecified, well, cash. The lawyers claim to be taking this severe action on behalf of all 31.2 million Gmail users. So they must hope for very large amounts of unspecified cash, if they are to please them all.

Some might find it troublesome to suppress a tight-lipped titter that all of this negative buzz is occurring while Google CEO Eric Schmidt was addressing the Mobile World Congressand stressing the need to "stay end-user-focused."

The end users have spoken and what they say seems to be that Google was not focused on them at all.