seems to have appropriately named its recently launched social networking site, Google (News
) Buzz. The service is receiving lots of buzz, only it may not be the kind that Google is after.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center
, a group formed to generate public awareness on emerging civil liberties issues and protect privacy, the First Amendment and constitutional values, filed a complaint
with the Federal Trade Commission charging that Google’s recently launched Buzz service violates federal consumer protection law.
The complaint urges the FCC (News
) to require Google to make Buzz service opt-in, to stop using Gmail users’ private address book contacts to compile social networking lists and to give Google users meaningful control over their personal data.
“This is a significant breach of consumers’ expectations of privacy,” Marc Rotenberg, EPIC executive director, said in a statement. “Google should not be allowed to push users’ personal information into a social network they never requested.”
The complaint comes days after Google Inc. changed the service to address privacy concerns, according to the Associated Press (News
When Google rolled out Google Buzz as part of its Gmail service last week, the company has been lambasted for automatically creating public circles of friends for users based on their most frequent Gmail contacts. Yet, over the weekend, Google altered the service
to merely suggest contacts for its users' social networks
Google said that it gives users control. Even though it adds a 'Buzz' link to all Gmail accounts, users must click on the link and agree to activate the service, the AP said. Google also gives users the option to disable Buzz.
The company reportedly said it has more changes in the works, the AP said.
Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.
And as the hype continues, bloggers are already buzzing about the potential
for Google to offer Google Buzz to non-Gmail users.
Edited by Amy Tierney