Google Buzz Might Be Probed By The FTC

I’m going to guess that right about now, Google is thinking that Buzz wasn’t the best idea they came up with. That’s because US lawmakers are asking to have Google investigated by the FTC over the privacy issues that surfaced when Buzz was released:

The representatives — six Democrats and five Republicans from the House Energy and Commerce Committee — noted in their letter that Google’s roll-out of Buzz exposed private information of users to Google’s Gmail service to outsiders. In one case, a 9-year-old girl accidentally shared her contact list in Gmail with a person who has a “sexually charged” username, the lawmakers said in the letter, sent to the FTC Friday and released Monday.

“Due to the high number of individuals whose online privacy is affected by tools like this — either directly or indirectly — we feel that these claims warrant the commission’s review of Google’s public disclosure of personal information of consumers through Google Buzz,” said the letter, organized by Representative John Barrow, a Georgia Democrat.

If you’re wondering how Google responds to this possibility, here’s their answer:

Asked for a response to the letter, a Google spokeswoman said user transparency and control are important to the company. “When we realized that we’d unintentionally made many of our users unhappy, we moved quickly to make significant product improvements to address their concerns,” she said, repeating Google’s past statements on Buzz. “Our door is always open to discuss additional ways to improve our products and services moving forward. “

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this response won’t stop this probe from happening. I could be wrong, but I doubt it seeing as this is a mid-term election year, and politicians tend to be at their blood thirsty best during election years.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: