FTC urged to investigate Google over Buzz snafu

  • The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over Google's controversial Buzz launch.

    Indeed, the Mountain View-based company recently attempted to transform Gmail into a social networking service, but ended up inadvertently displaying data based on a user's most frequent address book contacts.

    As such, EPIC's complaint cited "clear harms" to service subscribers and alleged that the change in business practices "violated user expectations, diminished user privacy, contradicted Google's privacy policy, and may have violated federal wiretap laws."

    EPIC also proposed that Google transform Buzz into a "fully opt-in service" and urged the corporation to stop using private (Gmail) address book contacts for the compilation of social networking lists.

    "This is a significant breach of consumers' expectations of privacy," opined EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg. 

    "Google should not be allowed to push users' personal information into a social network they never requested."

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