Google Buzz: I totally called that!

Posted November 4, 2010, 8:22 am by Barry Chapman

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Barry Chapman

HA! Remember when I said that Google Buzz posed a serious privacy flaw? Well, on Tuesday I received an email from Google personally! (Along with several million other users):

Google rarely contacts Gmail [or any] users via email, but we are making an exception to let you know that we've reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding Google Buzz (, a service we launched within Gmail in February of this year.

Shortly after its launch, we heard from a number of people who were concerned about privacy. In addition, we were sued by a group of Buzz users and recently reached a settlement in this case.

The settlement acknowledges that we quickly changed the service to address users' concerns. In addition, Google has committed $8.5 million to an independent fund, most of which will support organizations promoting privacy education and policy on the web. We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be.

Just to be clear, this is not a settlement in which people who use Gmail can file to receive compensation. Everyone in the U.S. that uses Gmail is included in the settlement, unless you personally decide to opt out before December 6, 2010. The Court will consider final approval of the agreement on January 31, 2011. This email is a summary of the settlement, and more detailed information and instructions approved by the court, including instructions about how to opt out, object, or comment, are available at

Well, if this isn't admitting clear fault, I don't know what is. I also have not looked at Buzz recently enough to know if they made it easier to deactivate the service, but I did post a link courtesy of Business Insider,  who detailed how to get around this problem.

Now, by now most of you probably know my feelings about Google. This does not mean that I will stop using them, but I am slowly starting to like Blekko more and more! Visit to check it out! It promises less spam results, security, and who knows what else.

See Google? This is what happens when you knowingly leave open privacy holes. It ends up costing you $8.5M!

Remember, if you use or USED Gmail, you have until December 6th, 2010 to opt out of the suit.

Filed under: Security Threats
Edited May 28, 2015 by Kim
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