A bad first week for Google Buzz

Graham Cluley

I’ve just returned from vacation to find that the everyone is buzzing about.. well, Google Buzz.

Google’s launch of a Twitter-style social network, embedded into its popular Gmail service, was always bound to make headlines of course, but it became the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons when privacy groups complained that it was sharing details of users’ most common contacts a little too freely.

Why is that a problem? Well, imagine you are an investigative journalist who wants to protect your sources, someone having a marital affair, or – dare I say it – someone supporting the human rights movement in China?

Even if you don’t fall into a group like this, it should still be your explicit choice if you want to share details of your private contacts with any old stranger, rather than the default rule if you join a network like Google Buzz.

The privacy backlash caused Google to…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.