Google agrees to pay $8.5 million to make Buzz privacy lawsuits go away

Remember back when Google's Buzz social networking app shared user's private information without their consent? Heck, do you remember Buzz at all? Suffice it to say that some unhappy folks sued, and it looks like they're about to accept a hefty settlement in place of their day in court. Though no money's exchanged hands quite yet and a judge has yet to approve, Google's agreed to drop $8.5 million and "disseminate wider public education about the privacy aspects of Google Buzz" as part of a class-action settlement, according to court documents. While there's certainly a chunk of dough potentially being doled out here, we have to imagine individual Gmail users won't be seeing much -- most will go to "organizations focused on Internet privacy policy or privacy education" -- which makes us wonder if $8.5 million isn't a small price to pay to get Buzz back into the national news feeds.

In related (or possibly completely coincidental) news, Google took the opportunity today to revamp its master Privacy Policy. Read all about it at our more coverage link, if you're into that kind of stuff.