The buzz is that Google is violating privacy rights with Google Buzz. Google’s reach stretches far and wide, but this time they crossed into even more questionable areas by violating the federal consumer protection law.
In the fight for social media supremacy, Google violated privacy laws by making all Gmail account holders automatically have a Google Buzz account. The default is set to opt-in, just as Google customized search is set, so users who don’t even know what Buzz is have an active account available for the world to see. If you have any personal data in any of your Google accounts using your personal Gmail address, this information can be ported over and displayed.
Another very questionable practice for which the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a complaint was regarding how Google created your circle of friends. Google used your most frequent Gmail contacts. Google has made changes over the weekend that will only “suggest” user’s most frequently utilized Gmail contacts become friends rather than making it automatic.
From a personal aspect, this is a little scary for those whose primary email is their Gmail account. If you have a Gmail account, you should probably make sure you do not have any sensitive information out on the Internet courtesy of Google.
From a business perspective, this is more beneficial. Google Buzz will eventually be a powerful social media tool which your Internet marketing campaign will benefit. To what extent, nobody knows yet. I’m sure we will see some changes in the next few weeks after the Federal Trade Commission reviews the EPIC’s complaints and determines what is best for the public’s privacy.