Google Lambasted By ICO Over Buzz Privacy Snafu

The Guardian is reporting that UK's privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office, has reprimanded search engine giant Google for not adhering to the privacy norms and has asked to improve the privacy features currently implemented by the company.

The UK regulator has joined the ranks of the governments of France, Canada and Germany, which have written an official letter asking the internet company to protect the privacy of its users.

Google got embroiled in a privacy controversy after the launch of its Gmail social networking tool Buzz, which had automatically started creating profiles of Gmail users without their consent and posting sensitive user information online.

However, as soon as the news broke and complaints started pouring in, Google had apologised for the inconvenience caused by the tool and had improved it significantly.

The group of companies that have come together in order to express outrage against Google, have signed a joint letter addressed to the CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, which says that “It is unacceptable to roll out a product that unilaterally renders personal information public, with the intention of repairing problems later. We call on you ... to incorporate fundamental privacy principles directly into the design of your new services.”

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In a response to the complaints against Google's privacy measures on Google Buzz, the internet search giant has released a new tool, Google Censorship Maps, which will let its users know about the governments who have made requests for information or censorship, across the world.

Related Links

Watchdog calls for tighter Google privacy controls

(Guardian)

Google’s Buzz criticised by international privacy regulators

(Computer Weekly)

Google 'not interested' in privacy, say information tsars

(Telegraph)

Google blasted over privacy peeves of 10-nation cabal

(Computer World)