Wednesday, 17 February 2010

BBC News - Google Buzz 'breaks privacy laws' says watchdog

A leading privacy group has urged US regulators to investigate Google's new social networking service Buzz, one week after its launch.

The Electronic Privacy Information Centre (Epic) has made its complaint to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

It says that Buzz - which is part of Google's Gmail service - is "deceptive" and breaks consumer protection law.

The search giant has twice made changes to the service to placate an outcry from users about privacy concerns.

Canadian officials are also looking at whether Buzz violates privacy laws.

"Google still hasn't gone far enough," Epic's consumer privacy counsel Kim Nguyen told BBC News.

"Twitter is a social networking site and people know what they are signing up for. With Gmail, users signed up for an e-mail service not a social networking service," said Ms Nguyen.

"Despite all the changes, they still do not give users a meaningful way to opt into it."

Buzz was automatically rolled out to Gmail's 176 million users.

The FTC has been asked to "require Google to provide Gmail users with opt-in consent to the Google Buzz service".

The complaint has also asked the FTC to "require Google to provide notice to and request consent from Gmail users before making material changes to their privacy policy in future, and seek appropriate injunctive and compensatory relief".

BBC News - Google Buzz 'breaks privacy laws' says watchdog
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