Google alters Buzz after privacy complaints

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Responding to criticism of the privacy settings on Buzz, Google moved over the weekend to address concerns about its new social network service.

Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) Buzz, launched last Tuesday, is fully integrated with the search engine's e-mail service, Gmail. It also included an auto-follow feature that aimed to make getting started on Buzz quick and simple by having new users follow their most frequent e-mail and chat contacts without clicking on anything.

But users were furious their contacts would be revealed to the public before they even created a Buzz profile.

"We've heard your feedback loud and clear, and since we launched Google Buzz four days ago, we've been working around the clock to address the concerns you've raised," said Todd Jackson, Gmail and Google Buzz product manager, in a blog post Saturday.

Google first responded Thursday to the disapproval by making the checkbox for choosing not to display information publicly more prominent, Jackson said.

But noting "that was clearly not enough," Jackson said Saturday that Buzz will switch to an auto-suggest model instead of auto-follow so users can review and click to approve the users they want to follow.

The changes will also disable Buzz from automatically connecting users' public Picasa photo albums and shared items through Google Reader.

Jackson also said Google is adding a Buzz tab to Gmail settings so users can hide the network from Gmail or disable it. He said the team will continue to make changes and improve the social network based on user feedback.

Last week, Google said during the first two days, Buzz attracted more than ten million users who created over 9 million posts and comments, and published more than 200 posts per minute from mobile devices worldwide. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,814.94 -2.96 -0.02%
Nasdaq 4,758.25 3.36 0.07%
S&P 500 2,067.03 -2.38 -0.12%
Treasuries 2.26 -0.05 -2.16%
Data as of 5:20am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 117.60 -1.02 -0.86%
Bank of America Corp... 17.10 -0.08 -0.47%
Huntington Bancshare... 10.11 -0.07 -0.69%
Kinder Morgan Inc 40.75 -0.04 -0.10%
Ford Motor Co 15.68 0.01 0.06%
Data as of Nov 25

Sections

Jet fuel prices are down about 18% since August, but don't expect a break in your air fare any time soon. More

Retailers are repeating Black Friday deals from year to year, and offering the same discounts at other times. More

Sales of iPads and other tablets are slumping badly in 2014, and won't likely be a big hit during the holidays as they were last year. More

Ever since the Ebola epidemic erupted in her hometown of Foya, Liberia, Deboriah Foko has been working with Doctors Without Borders to inform others about this deadly virus. Here are journal entries from a day in her life. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.