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Why no one cares about privacy anymore

Google co-founder Sergey Brin adores the company's social network called Google Buzz. We know this because an engineer working five feet from Brin used Google Buzz to say so.
Written by Declan McCullagh, Contributor on
Google co-founder Sergey Brin adores the company's social network called Google Buzz. We know this because an engineer working five feet from Brin used Google Buzz to say so.

"I just finished eating dinner with Sergey and four other Buzz engineers in one of Google's cafes," engineer John Costigan wrote a day after the Twitter-and-Facebook-esque service was announced. "He was particularly impressed with the smooth launch and the great media response it generated."

You might call Brin's enthusiasm premature, especially since privacy criticisms prompted Google to make a series of quick changes a few days later. Activists have asked the Federal Trade Commission to "compel" Google to reprogram Buzz a third time to adhere to the no doubt well-informed specifications of Beltway lawyers. A class action lawsuit filed on behalf of an aggrieved second-year law student is underway.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the courthouse: relatively few Google Buzz users seem to mind. Within four days of its launch, millions of people proved Brin right by using the messaging service to publish 9 million posts. A backlash to the backlash developed, with more thoughtful commentators pointing out that Google Buzz disclosed your "followers" and who you were "following" only if you had elected to publish that information publicly on your Google profile in the first place.

For more on this story, read Why no one cares about privacy anymore on CNET News.

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