Feeds

Google Buzz leaves privacy concerns ringing in ears

Gmail sprouts Web 2.0 legs

Top three mobile application threats

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.”

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.