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11 February 2010 @ 12:25 pm
Open letter to Google  
Dear Google,

I've long been a fan of the things you do, and thought that overwhelmingly you manage to live up to that 'Don't Be Evil' mission statement.

However I'm really very unhappy about the privacy implications of the way you've launched Google Buzz. If you're going to automatically generate a list of contacts based on who I talk to, you need to tell clearly me before you share it with the world, and ask me clearly if that's okay.

The privacy implications of failing to do so are downright disgusting. It needs to be opt-in, and flagged carefully, and I need to be able to opt out of appearing in other people's profiles - especially as long as you're not asking them clearly to opt in before displaying me there!

This is a shocking mis-step on your part, a betrayal of trust and extremely dubious under standard data protection laws, especially if it is confirmed - as it's been alleged - that people's contacts lists are displayed before they even say 'OK' to Buzz.

I expect you to fix this soon; until then I'll be angrily directing everyone to http://www.businessinsider.com/warning-google-buzz-has-a-huge-privacy-flaw-2010-2

Yours sincerely,

Fergus Ray Murray/fergusmurray@gmail.com/0olong/Oolong
Current Mood: angryindignant
Current Music: Muirsheen Durkin
Helenhelen4morrissey on February 11th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
ghostsmut: SOOTYghostsmut on February 11th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is quite bad. However, I have yet to click on "okay" in Buzz so I assume mine will be fine. If I never use Buzz or set up a profile I'll just not be on it, right?
tarchannan on February 12th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Incorrect. I very consciously avoided clicking on anything that might implicate me with buzz and was showing up on people's "following" lists anyhow. It seems clicking on "turn off buzz" did not help this. I hope manually removing followers and followings from within the buzz tab did.