Google’s $8.5m Class-Action Privacy Payout Goes to: Lawyers’ Alma Maters, Web Giant’s Pals
The Register covers Ted Frank’s arguments in a Google consumer privacy case.
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 actually go to them but will instead be split between the attorneys and organizations they have designated.
It just so happens that, as part of a settlement, three of those seven “cy pres recipients” are the alma maters of the attorneys: cash-strapped Harvard University, Stanford University and the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Ted Frank of the Competitive Enterprise Institute attended the most recent hearing and argued that there was a clear conflict of interest in attorneys listing their alma maters as recipients. He argued that the money should be given to charities rather than extremely wealthy universities.
And by arguing that it wasn’t possible to pay any money to users because it was an all-or-nothing situation where every user would have to get something, Frank argued that the case could effectively undermine every future consumer class action lawsuit and funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations chosen by lawyers.
Read the full article at The Register.