Ninth Circuit Hears Critique of Cy Pres in Google Privacy Settlement discusses the Google privacy settlement

The case alleged that Google was illegally sending personal information to third parties about users of its search function. It bore many resemblances to other online privacy class actions, like a $5.5 million settlement with Google approved last month in which Frank, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Class Action Fairness, also objected.

In that case, which also involved cy pres payouts to six entities, including Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, a federal judge in Delaware found that delivering money to the class would have been impractical.

Lawyers backing the $8.5 million settlement made similar arguments before the Ninth Circuit, noting that the class size in this case would be 130 million people—practically every internet user in the country.

But Frank relied on Fraley v. Facebook, a $20 million settlement in which lawyers managed to arrange the distribution of $15 to each class member.

“The fact of the matter is Fraley v. Facebook was 130 million class members, and they figured out a way to get millions of dollars to the class,” Frank said.

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