back to article Google's $8.5m class-action privacy payout goes to: Lawyers' alma maters, web giant's pals

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has narrowly approved an $8.5m Google payout for privacy violations following a lengthy argument over who should receive the money. Despite the class-action lawsuit being brought on behalf of roughly 129 million folks in the US who Googled between 2006 and 2014, none of the money will …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    If the class could not possibly be adequately represented or satisfied financially

    then this was a bastardization of the class action legal process.

    The other thing that isn't considered is that Stanford, Harvard, and AARP are almost certainly big customers of Google's with huge advertising accounts. And this settlement will do nothing but cement those business relationships even further.

  2. elDog

    Simple. Make it 10$ or Euro per violation.

    Not $0.00001 as it is now.

    Make it levied by the governments with a fund built up by the # of searches per person per country.

    Don't involve any lawyers except for writing the rules (they'll make out quite well, thank you.)

    Standard rule/fine mechanism.

    $10 per violation can probably be returned back to the person that was r@ped by these "do no evil" evils. Maybe with a 10% administrative overhead. Not the 100% overhead the Juris Doctorates or whatever they call themselves are demanding (foot staming heard overhead.)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money Better spent

    (Although we at The Reg would like to note that we would be happy to produce 200 pages of proposals in return for $1.1m in cold, hard cash.)

    Actually, 1.1m would go a long way to keeping the shady side of Google and the class action system in the limelight, like they did in the Google book scanning case. Thanks for that by the way.

  4. wsm

    "the people whose millions of dollars are involved are not represented."

    Yes. And they never are in a class-action suit. These types of settlements are classless inaction by the attorneys who represent themselves with a pretense of doing it for their numerous clients whom they have never met.

    I say throw the money at the non-profit groups who could keep suing Google and up the ante on further claims.

    1. Blank Reg

      Re: "the people whose millions of dollars are involved are not represented."

      Yup, it's only the lawyers that win in a class action. I've been notified on a number of occasions that I was on the "winning" side of a class action. I could never be bothered to fill out the forms needed in order to collect my $6. And I expect that's typical, unless of course your name is trump

  5. Jase Prasad

    Pure evil. And then people wonder why murders and the hiring of contract killers is on the rise.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Wot, not even some of those actual, physical plaintives who walked into a lawers office?

    Not even them?

    Still it helps to explain how rich law schools got to be rich law schools

    And now, how they have got to be considerably richer law schools.

    Just a wild idea but perhaps some actual guidelines for law firms in these sorts of CA lawsuits where the payout per actual plaintiff is too small to be worthwhile (I bet this is the mother lode for a law firm) as to where they can send the money IE not to line the pockets of their former schools for a start.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First thing we do.. kill all the lawyers

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: First thing we do..

      As the saying goes, 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

  8. Gordon Pryra


    Both the subject of this story and the fact that a company that effectively sold peoples credit card details to 3rd party's did not actually get anything more than a telling off. (8 million $ to Google?)

    Directors are responsible and should get the same jail terms as anyone else caught selling credit card details.

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Pathetic

      Directors are responsible and should get the same jail terms as anyone else caught selling credit card details.

      Not sure why you have downvotes except maybe it's lawyers or their lackies. But, that last bit has always made me wonder about corporate America. The board and execs run amok... fines are levied and those responsible are never "touched" by the system. So, I guess if you're high enough up the corporate ladder, crime does pay.

  9. scrubber

    In other news...

    In a completely unrelated story the lawyer's daughter has just been accepted into Stanford.

  10. Zimmer

    How to..

    ..make tax-free donations...?

    Call me cynical, it's my middle name...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, is this even correct procedurally?

    How did they get to represent those 129M people and gain their approval that everything they dreamt up was kosher? I wonder if the people who have not explicitly signed up to this class action can now use this judgement in a separate action which DOES come up with some proper moolah for the actual victims.

    If these were my lawyers they'd be facing complaints for malpractice - ESPECIALLY given the beneficiaries of the outcome.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hoist them on their own petard

    These sort of "class actions" where lawyers have millions of "clients" but no real client are ridiculous. The lawyers start the action on the basis that a group of people - a class - has been harmed and should be recompensed. None of the class gives instructions to the lawyers, tells them when to settle and when to fight because it is impractical for thousands of people to do so. That can be accepted in the Erin Brokovitch type of case. Fine, make it a condition that if the claim is successful members of the class must receive payment before the lawyers receive a cent. Payment to AN Other, whether a charity or a university, in lieu of payment to class members should not be not sufficient. If the lawyers knew they would receive zero if their clients received zero that would stop these nonsense cases.

    BTW Google's new motto seems to be "Be Very Evil".

  13. Oengus

    How many times

    (Although we at The Reg would like to note that we would be happy to produce 200 pages of proposals in return for $1.1m in cold, hard cash.)

    How many times does "Give me the money." have to be repeated to fill 200 pages? I am sure I could copy paste it for $1.1million...

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. returnofthemus

    Oh well, never mind!

    Hopefully, next year when GDPR come into force it will be a different story.

    For now I'll stick with Firefox and continue to support good causes by playing our National Lottery, no real point downloading Chrome until then.

    Apparently, the payouts will be much BIGGER Too!

    Ker-ching :-)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this means individuals can sue the same case no doubt

    it would make sense that the individuals who were hurt and are politically polar opposites from the benefactors would be able to make the same lawsuits. Are any of the beneficiaries of the proceeds from the lawsuit not liberal???

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