A settlement reached with Google set to award $8.5 million money to privacy rights groups, universities and other organizations – instead of victims of privacy violations by the company – will go before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The appeal by conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute stems from a 2013 case in which Google was found to have violated users’ privacy rights by sharing their search queries with other websites. The $8.5 million settlement was earmarked for third parties – an arrangement that is growing more common, according to a Reuters report.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals approved the terms, saying that monies distributed to Google’s 129 million users under a more traditional settlement would amount to “a paltry 4 cents in recovery.”
Earlier, The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Google’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling that narrowed the scope of patents that can be challenged before a federal tribunal whose proceedings have led to the cancellation of many patents.
The justices let stand a 2016 federal appeals court ruling against Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, which had successfully challenged at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a patent it was accused of violating. The appeals court said the patent had been wrongly reviewed in a proceeding reserved for business-related patents.