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Youth Radio named in Google Buzz settlement

Twelve organizations are named to share an $8.5 million class action settlement pot over the great Google Buzz Fiasco. I was happy to see that Youth Radio of Oakland is one of the groups listed. The outfit just won a Peabody Award for its series on prostitution.

Some background: about a year ago Google tried to get into the social networking business with Google Buzz, which allowed you to post comments on various Googly apps (Reader; Picasa, etc) and share them with your Gmail buddies.

The problem was that folks who didn’t want in on this new regime wound up in the mix anyway. And people who did quickly discovered that they didn’t have a whole lot of control over which Gmail correspondents could view their various and sundry Buzzings (this gal was particularly incensed when her ex-hubby showed up).

Anyway, it was a privacy violating mess. The Federal Trade Commission got involved. Google withdrew the offending glitches of the app and promises to do better. As already mentioned, there’s also a class action settlement in which the Rose Foundation solicited applications to receive money from the common fund. And lo and behold, Youth Radio of Oakland is named as a recipient, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, and various other groups.

The settlement document doesn’t list how much each recipient will get. But the grant money will be used to “create accessible media that educates users regarding privacy issues and privacy protection.”

There’s reasonable concern that the deal doesn’t include a bunch of advocacy groups that originally complained about Buzz. You can read all about that here. But I’m pleased that Youth Radio is getting some well deserved help.


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