Three named plaintiffs brought class action claims against Google for alleged violations of the Stored Communications Act. The parties negotiated a settlement agreement that would require Google to include certain disclosures on some of its webpages and would distribute more than $5 million to cy pres recipients, more than $2 million to class counsel, and no money to absent class members. We granted certiorari to review whether such cy pres settlements satisfy the requirement that class settlements be “fair, reasonable, and adequate.” Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 23(e)(2). Because there remain substantial questions about whether any of the named plaintiffs has standing to sue in light of our decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 578 U. S. ___ (2016), we vacate the judgment of the Ninth Circuit and remand for further proceedings. Google operates an Internet search engine. The search engine allows users to search for a word or phrase by typing a query into the Google website. Google returns a list of webpages that are relevant to the indicated term phrase. The complaints alleged that when an Internet user conducted a Google search and clicked on a hyperlink to open one of the webpages listed on the search results page, Google transmitted information including the terms of the search to the server that hosted the selected webpage. This so-called referrer header told the server that the user arrived at the webpage by searching for particular terms on Google’s website. Paloma Gaos challenged Google’s use of referrer headers. She filed a complaint in Federal District Court on behalf of herself and a putative class of people who conducted a Google search and clicked on any of the resulting links within a certain time period. Gaos alleged that Google’s transmission of users’ search terms in referrer headers violated the Stored Communications Act, 18 U. S. C. §2701et seq. The SCA prohibits “a person or entity providing an electronic communication service to the public” from “knowingly divulg[ing] to any person or entity the contents of a communication while in electronic storage by that service.” §2702(a)(1). The Act also creates a private right of action that entitles any “person ag grieved by any violation” to “recover from the person or entity, other than the United States, which engaged in that violation such relief as may be appropriate.” §2707(a). Gaos also asserted several state law claims.
The terms of their agreement required Google to include certain disclosures about referrer headers on three of its webpages. Google could, however, continue its practice of transmitting users’ search terms in referrer headers. Google also agreed to pay $8.5 million. None of those funds would be distributed to absent class members. Instead, most of the money would be distributed to six cy pres recipients. In the class action context, cy pres refers to the practice of distributing settlement funds not amenable to individual claims or meaningful pro rata distribution to nonprofit organizations whose work is determined to indirectly benefit class me mbers. Black’s Law Diction ary 470 (10th ed. 2014). In this case, the cy pres recipients were selected by class counsel and Google to “promote public awareness and education, and/or to support research, development, and initiatives, related to protecting privacy on the Internet.” App. to Pet. for Cert. 84. The rest of the funds would be used for administrative costs and fees, given to the named plaintiffs in the form of incentive payments, and awarded to class counsel as attorney’s fees.
When the District Court ruled on Google’s second motion to dismiss, it relied on Edwards to hold that Gaos had standing to assert a claim under the SCA. Our decision in Spokeo abrogated the ruling in Edwards that the violation of a statutory right automatically satisfies the injury-in-fact requirement whenever a statute authorizes a person to sue to vindicate that right. 578 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 9); see Edwards , 610 F. 3d, at 517–518. Since that time, no court in this case has analyzed whether any named plaintiff has alleged SCA violations that are sufficiently oncrete and particularized to support standing. After oral argument, we ordered supplemental briefing from the parties and Solicitor General to address that question. After reviewing the supplemental briefs, we conclude that the case should be remanded for the courts below to address the plaintiffs’ standing in light of Spokeo. The supplemental briefs filed in response to our order raise a wide variety of legal and factual issues not addressed in the merits briefing before us or at oral argument. We “are a court of review, not of first view.” Cutter v. Wilkinson, 544 U. S. 709, 718, n. 7 (2005). Resolution of the standing question should take place in the District Court or the Ninth Circuit in the first instance. We therefore vacate and remand for further proceedings. Nothing in our opinion should be interpreted as expressing a view on any particular resolution of the standing question.