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FTC Not Happy With Google Buzz

March 19, 2010

The Wall Street Journal reports FTC commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour said Google was “irresponsible” in launching Google Buzz and cited Buzz as an example of careless behavior regarding consumer privacy and online data. The comments were made at a public roundtable hosted by the FTC on privacy-related issues. Google’s main problem was that they turned on Buzz to Gmail users with no prior warning or functionality to activate privacy protection. This action caused personal contacts and other information to be available to anyone signed up for Buzz. Privacy-related issues in social networking are new and dynamic and it will take some time, rulemaking, legislation and case law, before we have clarity, if ever.

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