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Google Buzz

bad privacy policies google buzz

Once upon a time before Google+, Google (GOOG) had another social network called Buzz, which lived inside Gmail.

Buzz was an unmitigated disaster.

When Buzz launched in February 2010. Gmail users were not given a choice whether or not to join it -- they were all automatically opted-in. Buzz automatically made Gmail users "follow" their most-emailed contacts, who were broadcast publicly for the world to see.

The real world effect: One blogger found that it exposed her partner and place of work to her abusive ex-husband and creepy fans.

Google moved quickly to undo the damage, but it already caught the attention of the authorities. The FTC sued and Google agreed to a settlement saying that it used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy promises to consumers. As part of the deal, Google undergoes annual privacy audits.

Google eventually killed off Buzz in 2011. But issues remain. Google updated its terms last year, allowing it to display user's names, photos and more unless they explicitly opt out, drawing criticism from U.S. Senator Edward Markey.

  @Jose_Pagliery - Last updated May 13 2014 11:23 AM ET

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