Google Settles Buzz Lawsuit

September 6th, 2010 at 10:26 am

Google’s initial attempt in creating a social media site has not been going that smoothly. Its Google Buzz has been going through quite a lot of negative reactions among online users. The main problem, just like most other popular social media sites such as Facebook, lies in the way user privacy may have been neglected.

Just after Google Buzz debuted in February of this year, it has been met with criticism regarding the way it displayed information that most users may consider private. Google Buzz users found out that their Gmail contacts automatically become part of their network group. But that is not all. The profiles of these contacts become available publicly by default, including their Gmail addresses. Anyone visiting the user’s profile will also be able to see the email addresses of the people in his or her network.

This neglect of user privacy has led to a surge of negative backlash that even led other people to file lawsuits. And for this mistake, Google finally settled recently a privacy lawsuit to a tune of $8.5 million. Although the amount may be considered small change for a giant like Google, the mistakes may prove a point that even giants may not likely be looking after what the online users really want.

Google may have given some time and thought testing out Google Buzz before launching it to the public. The very fact that they have overlooked certain privacy concerns during such test runs may show that they may have underestimated what most online users truly value. The fact that Google Buzz may not have gotten that much traction in terms of avid users in the ensuing months may have been due to the concerns regarding online privacy on the site. Google’s first steps toward building that social presence online may be passing through rough times. The negative impression that this may have caused won’t help in any case.


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