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February 12, 2010

Google responds to Buzz privacy criticisms

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by Darren Allan

Google has been quick to react to the condemnation of its default privacy options in Buzz.

If you’ve not been around for the past couple of days, Buzz is Google’s freshly launched social networking feature built into Gmail.

As we reported yesterday, Buzz has been criticised for rather hiding away the options box which allows you to elect not to display the list of contacts you’re following (and who’s following you).

Now Google has changed the system so when you’re setting up your Buzz profile, the choice of whether or not to display followers is clearly given.

The search giant has also altered the block followers feature, so that you can now block people that have decided to follow you, even if they haven’t set up a public profile.

Previously, it wasn’t possible to block those who hadn’t created a profile yet.

These are important and welcome tweaks to the system, and a quick response from Google. However, the measures really should have been in when Buzz first went live.

Google commented on its blog: “We designed Buzz to make it easy to connect with others and have conversations about things that interest you, and it’s great to see millions of you doing this already. It’s still early, and we have a long list of improvements on the way.”

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