Buzz Kill

Google Buzz Enrages Privacy Advocates

A rare misstep from Google? Google Buzz, the company’s attempt to introduce a Facebook or Twitter-like feature to Gmail, has enraged some users, who say it violates their privacy. Buzz was set up to automatically create a network of friends based on whomever the user communicated most frequently with—a problem, say, if you’re having an affair. More troublingly, it disclosed the names of some people’s doctors and exposed whistleblowers and anti-government activists. A blogger at Foreign Policy wrote, “If I were working for the Iranian or the Chinese government, I would immediately dispatch my Internet geek squads to check on Google Buzz accounts for political activists and see if they have any connections that were previously unknown to the government." The product manager for Google Buzz says, "Google remains completely committed to freedom of expression and to privacy, and we have a strong track record of protecting both.”