Google Buzz Could Cause A Major Privacy Issue

A day after its launch, Google Buzz, the Gmail social networking tool offered by the search engine giant, has surrounded itself with controversy as tech analysts across the world are voicing their concerns over huge privacy flaws in the newly rolled out tool.

The privacy issue was first raised by the Silicon Valley Insider, a popular tech blog, which observed that Google Buzz automatically creates a list of all the Gmail contacts that a user most frequently chats with or emails to.

Then Buzz starts ‘following’ the people on the users contact list and makes the list public, easily available on the internet.

This means if somebody wants to find out the people with whom a person is regularly chatting with or mailing to, they can do so with ease, leaving nothing to the imagination.

This particular issue with Google Buzz is being looked upon as a serious privacy intrusion by many users, who were forced to share their email and contact lists with the whole world (as public).

However, upon closer inspection, it was found that Google Buzz only allows those who are Buzz users or have a Google profile, to view the email and chat lists of other Buzz users.

Also Google mercifully grants users the opportunity to ‘unfollow’ those with whom they don’t want to be linked to.

Our Comments

Deep in the depths of Google Buzz, the search giant also provides the users the ability to hide who they are following and who is following them. Interestingly, this has left several people pondering on the question as to why Google avoided making this important privacy function available where it is visible.

Related Links

The huge privacy flaw in Google Buzz (and how to fix it)

(True Slant)

Google Buzz Criticized for Disclosing Gmail Contacts

(PC World)

Google Buzz: Privacy nightmare

(CNet)

Google's Buzz word raises question of trust

(Times Online)