Feeds

Google Buzz leaves privacy concerns ringing in ears

Gmail sprouts Web 2.0 legs

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Comment What’s that really annoying humming sound bothering your lugholes? Oh yes, Google Buzz. Bah.

And so it has come to pass - Mountain View’s sinister personal data grab has finally crept into the most sacred of all online communication tools. Gmail now has the ability to do social networking.

Google wants to out-Facebook Facebook, out-Twitter Twitter and out-Internet Explorer Internet Explorer and so and so and so, infinitum. But the ad broker’s relentless efforts to carpetbomb the entire interwebulator with its brand is becoming at best tiresome and at worst downright creepy.

The company isn’t content to sit back and watch the likes of Facebook and Twitter offer their own shoddy Web 2.0 privacy policies; now Google is in on that social networking game too.

The problem with Buzz is that Google didn’t offer its 176 million Gmail users an opportunity to opt in to the service that mines ever more information stored in the web kingpin's datacentres.

Instead, Mountain View simply slotted Buzz into all its Gmail accounts. That’s a somewhat unusual move for a company that prides itself on deeply testing a product in beta via Google Labs.

Recently the firm appears to have backed away from that model of delivery, wherein users were able to choose what “hot new product” of Google’s they might want to tinker with.

Google’s new stealth mode response is a dangerous strategy, as it assumes that its users will happily take on Web 2.0 clutter in their inboxes. In reality, the backlash has already begun, with many complaining that an online email service should remain separate from social networking.

Buzz also demands a public profile to be created before the account can be fully activated within Gmail.

Google delivers nasty privacy bee sting

“At a minimum, you only need to include your first and last name to use Buzz. It's up to you whether you'd like to include more details,” said Google.

“Note that if you decide to remove lists of the people you are following and the people following you from your profile, your name (and photo if you include it) may still appear on the profiles of the people you are following and who are following you.”

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.