Google Buzz Class Action Settlement – Gmail email

Tonight I received the following email to one of my Gmail accounts from Google and thought it would be interesting to those outside the US (where I’m currently visiting) who may not have received it:

Google rarely contacts Gmail users via email, but we are making an exception to let you know that we’ve reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Google Buzz (, a service we launched within Gmail in February of this year.

Shortly after its launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and recently reached a settlement in this case.

The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users’ concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the web. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be.

Just to be clear, this is not a settlement in which people who use Gmail can file to receive compensation. Everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010. The Court will consider final approval of the agreement on January 31, 2011. This email is a summary of the settlement, and more detailed information and instructions approved by the court, including instructions about how to opt out, object, or comment, are available at

This mandatory announcement was sent to all Gmail users in the United States as part of a legal settlement and was authorized by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Google Inc. | 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway | Mountain View, CA 94043

It’s worth noting that the settlement only applies to US users. I’m not entirely sure why I was sent the email as I’m based in the UK, but perhaps I’ve not changed the location in the settings of one account.

Prioritising email

I’ve recently been trying to clean up my inbox and make it more efficient and less full of interesting but none-the-less not high priority newsletters. This has meant a process of unsubscribing and analysing what’s really useful. So today I read with joy via Jemima Kiss over on the Guadian’s PDA blog a new development from Google: Gmail Priority Inbox.

“‘Priority inbox’ learns from your email usage patterns and begins to prioritise messages that it thinks you’ll be most likely to read. Your inbox is divided into three sections: important and unread, starred and everything else.”

Here’s the explanatory video:

It’s not reached my inbox yet, but I will be testing it out as soon as it does.