Google Buzz gets privacy reminder scheduled

Darren Allan
Darren Allan -

Google’s Buzz service, the search giant’s attempt to integrate social networking into Gmail, was heavily criticised over privacy issues during its launch in February.

Much of the controversy revolved around the fact that anyone could see who a user was following, because the option to hide this information was tucked away in menus and difficult to locate.

Google itself has admitted that “we quickly realised that we didn’t get everything quite right” when it came to rolling out Buzz.

Issues such as clearly displaying the visible followers option box were sorted pretty quickly, although the company has now decided to issue a privacy settings reminder to its customers.

Beginning tomorrow, Buzz will roll out a pop-up page that will display current privacy settings clearly, and ask the user to confirm if they are okay.

It will also let a user know which other sites they are connected to via Buzz, and it will give people the option to turn Buzz off. Buzz off, indeed.

The move comes after members of Congress contacted the Federal Trade Commission to ask for an investigation into Google Buzz’s privacy policies.

Google is doubtless hoping that this will be enough to please customers and politicians alike.

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