Google Buzz: Electronic Privacy Information Center files complaint with FTC

A complaint regarding Google's Buzz, with its default setting active without notice, has been filed with the Federal Trade Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

As I had forecast, the first of the complaints has been lodged regarding Google's Buzz product launch, with its default setting active without notice, has been filed with the Federal Trade Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. It its complaint it stipulates the following items:

The EPIC complaint urges the Trade Commission to required Google to make the Buzz service fully opt-in, to stop using mail users' private address book contacts to compile social networking lists, and to give Google users meaningful control over their personal data.

"This is a significant breach of consumers' expectations of privacy," said Marc Rotenberg, EPIC Executive Director. "Google should not be allowed to push users' personal information into the social network they never requested."

CNET writer Molly Wood was cited in EPIC's complaint:

"I do have an expectation of privacy when it comes to my e-mail, and I think that even in this age of social-networking TMI, most people still think e-mail as a safe place for speaking privately with friends and family. And for Google to come along and broadcast that network to the word without asking first - and force you turn it off after the fact - is, I think both shocking and unacceptable.

A request for comment from the FTC and Google was not returned. Google continues to make changes to how Buzz is configured inside Gmail. Two bloggers who use Gmail and were unaware that Buzz was active, have emailed me that they are considering further legal action against the company.

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