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Google Responds to Outrage Over Google Buzz Privacy Hole
engine




msg:4079172
 6:51 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google Buzz Privacy Settings Updated [news.cnet.com]
Google announced some changes to Google Buzz late Thursday that show it has belatedly recognized the backlash over privacy concerns with the new service.

Early users of Google Buzz have found the settings very complicated, especially the ones that pertain to privacy. In a blog post Thursday, Google said it built privacy controls into Google Buzz from Day 1 but acknowledged the most strident criticism--that Google made if difficult to make one's list of followers private--in tweaking the set-up process for the new social-networking service.

"... we heard from people that the checkbox for choosing not to display this information was too hard to find, and based on this feedback, we've changed the notice to make it very clear," the company said on its Gmail blog. "We will roll these changes out to all Gmail users later today."


Earlier

Google Launches Buzz [webmasterworld.com]
Massive Privacy Hole in Google Buzz Found [webmasterworld.com]

 

ChanandlerBong




msg:4079178
 6:57 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not enough. Should be opt-in, not opt-out.

Alcoholico




msg:4079188
 7:16 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually it is opt-in, nobody forces you to open a google account, though people should be well aware what having a google account or using google services means. Life is perfectly possible without google.

ChanandlerBong




msg:4079169
 6:50 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

from the fox news article

"We think that showing followers publicly by default makes Buzz more useful because it helps people expand their networks," the company said in a statement. "In response to feedback, we've made the option to hide these lists more prominent in the set up process."


[foxnews.com...]

they simply don't GET it, do they? Is G now being run by total morons? That's a serious question.

Their new motto should be "Open mouth, insert foot" or perhaps "Open mouth, insert 12 gauge"

[edited by: tedster at 7:27 pm (utc) on Feb 12, 2010]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]

Kufu




msg:4079216
 7:36 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's irrelevant if it's opt-in or opt-out, when the entire Buzz system is unnecessarily vague.

A very simple way to solve this issue is to add a tab for Buzz under the Gmail 'Settings'. Why do I have to click on fifty different links before I can hide or unhide my follower list?

I like the idea of Buzz, but unless Google offers an easy a readily accessible way to manage my Buzz activity, it will be a PR problem for Google rather than a useful service.

For now, Buzz has been turned off on all my Gmail account.

blend27




msg:4079219
 7:40 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually it is opt-in


Perfectly mentioned, I still don't want to know how GMail GUI looks like. Just because of most strident criticism from the clients I work with. Lately I see almost a trend that clients demand all email communications are kept on private email server, e.g.: NONE FREE Email address. I wonder WHY?

albo




msg:4079239
 7:59 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hear, hear, @alcolico and @blend27. Gorg seems to be getting more opt-in-by-click-elsewhere

genux




msg:4079258
 8:17 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Personally I like using gmail for my email, since it a great place to keep all of my emails, but most of them are not critical. I am not sure if other companies would "trust" any 3-rd party to look after there important emails for there company.

I have no problem with buzz, I probably would just find it easier to have a facebook GUI within my general emails, than to have another place to link all friends again.

StoutFiles




msg:4079273
 8:33 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Obviously they have to opt-in automatically if they want to make a serious shot at getting Buzz popular. What they should have done is have turning off Buzz be easier to do. I didn't think it was possible till I scrolled to the very bottom of the Gmail page and found the turn off link in the smallest font possible.


I have no problem with buzz, I probably would just find it easier to have a facebook GUI within my general emails, than to have another place to link all friends again.


That would be like Coke building a vending machine and only offering Pepsi in it, because you are already comfortable with Pepsi. That...wouldn't help Coke a whole lot.

loudspeaker




msg:4079284
 8:49 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I guess, it's their service, they can do whatever with it. It seems that it's getting pretty complicated, though, because it was designed for one purpose (email communication) and is now being retrofitted to suit another (sharing URL's and being all-around "social"). And that's not all - rumors have it that Google is working on force-feeding gmail users their "wave" functionality that nobody wants elsewhere. If that's the case, hold on tight because it will get even more confusing.

Which begs the question: why use GMail at all? Is it that good? I fail to see any big difference (perhaps a slightly more AJAX'y interface) from any other web-based email service.

Why not use Yahoo/Hotmail or, for more advanced users, a cheap alternative like Fastmail which has both free (ad-supported) and paid accounts starting at under 5 bucks a year? I am sure there are other options for cheap email solutions.

J_RaD




msg:4079363
 10:22 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)


Actually it is opt-in, nobody forces you to open a google account, though people should be well aware what having a google account or using google services means. Life is perfectly possible without google.

sure, but just because you opend a google account up 2 years ago doesn't mean you should be automaticly opt-ed in to whatever new thing goog tosses in g-mail.

People should be well aware but they are not well aware, we are the only people well aware and google isn't making it any clearer for the ordianary web surfer that bumbles around googles data logging trap.

J_RaD




msg:4079364
 10:23 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)


or, for more advanced users, a cheap alternative like Fastmail


or how about IMAP with a real mail client attached to the domain you already own.

MWpro




msg:4079461
 2:06 am on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google wants to index your thoughts. Between this and their plans to start their own ISP, is anyone else's fearing Google's arrogant actions in trying to take over the whole web?

Their over-expansion and privacy breaches will be their downfall.

Nobias




msg:4079474
 2:57 am on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

For now, Buzz has been turned off on all my Gmail account.

Be prepared it will be 'mysteriously' turned on, it happens quite often with Google and their 'turn-off' boxes..

zett




msg:4079483
 3:22 am on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Alcoholico wrote:
Actually it is opt-in, nobody forces you to open a google account


And I am with J_RaD on this one who says:
sure, but just because you opend a google account up 2 years ago doesn't mean you should be automaticly opt-ed in to whatever new thing goog tosses in g-mail.

Indeed, I opened a Gmail account years ago; never used it for anything else than to see whether I like it or not and decided that I stay with my trusted Yahoo! mail.

I have a dormant Blogger account with just a couple of blogs from the time before I moved them to my own servers.

And I still use Adsense on some of my smaller sites.

Now, I don't think it's in any way justified that Google automatically opts me into their Buzz thing. I have no clue now who is seeing what now, and whether in fact I have to take active measures to prevent them from seeing information about me.

I can see Google's dilemma though. As always, they had to decide for opt-in or opt-out, and as always, they decided to go for opt-out to get critical mass. The problem though, in this case, is that they are not "just" messing around with search results (Google search). Now they are touching people's privacy - who can see what about them in the outside world. BIG MISTAKE.

They deserve the PR desaster they are experiencing now.

P.S.: Wasn't there an announcement on "Google Goggles" somewhere that let's you enter a picture and they find the location and or person shown on the picture? It's about time that main stream media critically discusses such ideas.

Nobias




msg:4079496
 4:28 am on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Check [x] if you don't want to share your emails with your friends

Why I'm not surprised if they introduce such feature..

ronin




msg:4079526
 6:55 am on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually it is opt-in, nobody forces you to open a google account


Personally, I don't use gmail, but, I'm sorry, this argument doesn't wash.

The logical extension of this argument is that because you use the internet you have 'opted in' to everything on the internet.

Or that because you haven't yet taken your own life you have 'opted in' to everything you come across in life.

Products such as Buzz must be clearly separated from other products such as email, must have a clear opt-in process and, ideally, should be completely stand-alone in the first instance and only subequently integrative at the behest of the user.

This is simply Google's attempt to engineer massive, fast distribution of its new real-time-status product in order to get market traction and quickly establish market share. But humans are not as ambivalent as computers about what they unquestioningly accept and Google should know better.

walkman




msg:4079530
 7:41 am on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually it is opt-in, nobody forces you to open a google account, though people should be well aware what having a google account or using google services means. Life is perfectly possible without google.


Your ISP and every forum you signed up should post your address, contact list and as much as they know about you. After all, no one forced you to go online or sign up at forums. No problem, right?

zeus




msg:4079563
 10:41 am on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

serious no one can be surprised here, Google just dont have any Privacy policy. Always watch out when using there stuff, but I think everyone knows by now.

JS_Harris




msg:4079578
 11:57 am on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

What on earth would possess Google to think it's ok to show ANYTHING without prior consent or at the very least make it an opt-IN feature?

Incredulous

shallow




msg:4079710
 7:04 pm on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I couldn't find a way to stop my ex-son-in-law from following me. I doubt the twit decided to follow me on his own; Google obviously made the decision as to who would be following me when I first took a look at Buzz. No thanks. I can make my own decisions, even initial ones.

I found the link to turn off Buzz, and did!

See, I can make decisions on my own.

moTi




msg:4079761
 9:24 pm on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

i can't believe this. i mean, it's so damned obvious not to force this nonsense upon their users and play tricks on their privacy. it's insane.

if it was still necessary to have proof, this again shows that goog is a purely tech driven company which stumbled upon their only cash cow adwords, cross-subsidization allowing them to break into other areas with zero ability to market their services and zero empathy for user needs. too bad that they have already grown so big with their economies of scale that competition has such a hard time.

lucky




msg:4079793
 10:44 pm on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ronin,

Your post is excellent.

What if Google decides to make the content of our email communications public? Are we going to say "This is how it works on the web. We can opt out"?

Email is email. My contacts are my contacts. I don't want to share them with anybody else.

The traffic of Facebook and Twitter made Google jealous and they just want to be everything for everybody now. Gmail was great until they came up with this buzz nonsense.

Leosghost




msg:4079794
 10:59 pm on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Forward all contents of any gmail account(s) you have ..then delete all messages from the account(s) then switch off buzz in any account(s) ..
Screen cap the latter stage so if any day G says you didn't and they leak your mail ..you have proof..

And then host your own ..

tangor




msg:4079803
 12:03 am on Feb 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sadly, there are too many lemmings out there (apologies to lemmings!) who will not know about the cliff (and yes, I know that is an old hoax but remains true nonetheless). Too many folks out there will not know what click box to click or even WHY THEY SHOULD click.

I've hosted my own email for the last 10 years and will continue to do that. I even host email for a dozen or so others (and am adding a few each year). Don't do it to make money. Do it to maintain privacy, and those who are getting their email from me know my absolute passion for privacy.

I wonder what the implications to Buzz revealing all will have with the phishers and spammers...

zett




msg:4079917
 6:55 am on Feb 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

too many lemmings [...] Too many folks out there will not know

Yeah, right.

Then again, as I am not getting tired to mention in any Google-discussion among webmasters - IT IS US WHO MADE GOOGLE, and it is us who can tear the mask of that evil company again. WE still have the eyeballs, because our sites are being read and being visited. Most of the attempts by Google to divert that traffic away from us (to their own property) have failed. So far!

But just sitting and complaining is not enough. We have to write about this, on our sites, in our blogs, in non-webmaster forums, write letters to senators, journalists, and newspapers.

If anyone needed more proof that Google is dangerous, this issue is it.

Seb7




msg:4080097
 6:45 pm on Feb 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Something like this has to be perfect first time. The fact a social networking site is coming from Google is enough to get people interested. But when they see how bad it is, it will just fail. Similar story to 'lively' - where did that go.

I tried it once, concept not too bad, but hundreds of other networking sites are better than this. Not likely to be taking a second look.

It seem like a data grabbing service for Google. It was a little frightening.

zeus




msg:4080103
 6:56 pm on Feb 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

zett - every Month in German Mags there is something new about Google where they have violated copyrights, privacies, collecting of data or just pure spying so there people slowly know the real face, it will take longer in the rest of europe or USA.

Why do you think the first TV ad from Google came now and with such a romantic touch, that you would almost puke, they know they slowly are getting unpopular.

subhankar ray




msg:4080124
 7:47 pm on Feb 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

May be a good idea to create a separate new Gmail account to try out Buzz. I do not know if that will be a violation of Google's terms and condition.

J_RaD




msg:4080156
 10:00 pm on Feb 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

^ google is now requiring PHONE VERIFICATION for new gmail accounts!

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39 ( [1] 2 > >
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