As reported by Law360, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer has granted final approval to a $13 million settlement over Google’s illegal gathering of network data via its Street View vehicle fleet. Given the difficulties of assessing precise individual harms, the innovative settlement, which is intended in part to disincentivize companies like Google from future privacy violations, will distribute its monies to eight nonprofit organizations with a history of addressing online consumer privacy issues.

Judge Breyer noted in his final settlement approval ruling that while class members will themselves receive no monies, they will receive the indirect benefit of the good work of charities acting in their interest, as well as from the message sent to tech and other companies that privacy remains a fundamental right in the U.S.

The charity recipients are the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University Law Center, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Internet Policy Research Initiative, the World Privacy Forum, Public Knowledge, the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and Consumer Reports Inc., “some of the most effective advocates for internet privacy in the country,” Judge Breyer wrote.

Lieff Cabraser served as co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the action.

Read the full article on Law360 (subscription).

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