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Google Reaches Deal with FTC Over User Privacy Violation Investigation

Google has reached a deal with the US Federal Trade Commission over the controversial Google Buzz privacy violation case.

Under the settlement with the FTC, Google will have its privacy management policies monitored by a third party for the next 20 years.

Google created a lot controversy after the launch of Google Buzz, the company's first attempt at social networking.

Supposedly, Gmail users were eligible to join Buzz voluntarily, but Buzz was already integrated into Gmail, leaving users no option but to join. As a result,Gmail user email contacts were accessible to the public.

Google immediately tried to remedy this by allowing people to opt out of the service, but not before the FTC launched an investigation into Buzz.

"Today, we've reached an agreement with the FTC to address their concerns. We'll receive an independent review of our privacy procedures once every two years, and we'll ask users to give us affirmative consent before we change how we share their personal information," said Google's Director of Privacy, Alma Whitten.

"We'd like to apologise again for the mistakes we made with Buzz. While today's announcement thankfully put this incident behind us, we are 100 percent focused on ensuring that our new privacy procedures effectively protect the interests of all our users going forward," she added.