Google launched its very own social networking platform, Buzz, sometime in February last year.
Buzz gone wrong!
Aimed to bring in social networking benefits to its users, Google Buzz was launched by Google via its mail service, Gmail. However, soon after instances of the privacy of its users being compromised on began surfacing. Apparently, private details of the users who chose to make themselves a part of the new Buzz servicewere publicly showcased. Details like name, chat history, et al were all out for everyone to view.
Also, although the service did have an option to joining – “Sweet! Check out Buzz,” and an alternate, “Nah, go to my inbox”; users were indefinitely moved to the social networking space, thereby, adding to the confusion. The root of the problem seemed to be with the way Google’s default privacy systems functioned. They, apparently, don’t provide for the adequate privacy and plainly ‘choose’ to make all details public.
In the wake of the seriousness of the situation, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) leveled several charges, which Google claims to have accepted. As a part of the acceptance, Google will be barred from future privacy misrepresentations; they will also have to implement a comprehensive privacy program and lastly, make provisions for independent privacy audits for the next 20 years.
The consent agreement is open currently for public comments for a period of 30 days with immediate effect.