Not only was Google's roll out of
Buzz in 2010 badly received by the user community, the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) filed a Complaint for Google's violation of its own
launched its Buzz social network through its Gmail web-based email product.
Although Google led Gmail users to believe that they could choose whether or
not they wanted to join the network, the options for declining or leaving the
social network were ineffective. For users who joined the Buzz network, the
controls for limiting the sharing of their personal information were confusing
and difficult to find, the agency alleged.
The FTC Complaint alleged that Buzz
violate US privacy laws, and also violate the US - EU Safe Harbor
Framework to allow personal data to be lawfully transferred from the EU to the
US. Ultimately Google settled this dispute with the FTC and the FTC
proposed settlement bars the company from future privacy misrepresentations,
requires it to implement a comprehensive privacy program, and calls for
regular, independent privacy audits for the next 20 years.
Clearly the FTC settlement with
Google sends a huge wake up message to everyone to review their Privacy
Policies to avoid FTC actions!