Corporate King Google

15 02 2010

Looks like Google’s Buzz is experiencing its first come down within days of going live.  And once again it is the privacy issue the Mega-Corp is having problems with.  Personally, I’ve never trusted Google due to the fact that they once had the slogan “Don’t be evil”…  And anything or person that needs to proclaim that seriously has some issues.

Google Buzz redesigned after privacy complaints

Telegraph, 15 Feb 2010

Todd Jackson, product manager for Google Buzz, has announced that the company will disable the feature which gave users a ready-made circle of friends based on their most frequent email and chat contacts in Gmail.

The Google feature was heavily criticised because it revealed to the world who each user emailed the most. Many also did not want contacts whom they emailed regularly for work purposes to be included in their online social circle.

Many users attacked the company for violating their privacy.

Mr Jackson said: “We quickly realised that we didn’t get everything quite right.

“We’re very sorry for the concern we’ve caused and have been working hard ever since to improve things based on your feedback.”

Buzz will now only suggest who users may like to include as their friends.

The site was also criticised because users of Gmail were automatically joined to it, but now the company has announced it will put a tab in the email facility to make it easier to turn off.

Buzz will also no longer automatically connect Buzz to Picasa photo albums and Google Reader items, the company said.

The changes, which will take effect over the next few days, were the latest Google had made to Buzz since it launched the product inside millions of Gmail accounts less than a week ago.

A minor blip for sure yet it highlights once more the lack of privacy available on the net.  Data gathering has become a huge business with online companies such as confused.com and gocompare.com where the user will fill out the boxes to compare prices for them which the company then compiles the data, then it is ready to be sold to other companies.  In essence, they make no money from you or the company whose product you bought, instead turning the information you ‘gave’ willingly into a product in its own right.

So on the grander scale with Google, instead of a questionnaire, they place a ‘cookie’ on your machine that then tracks every movement on the net.  This is then compiled and analyzed and then used by themselves for their Adsense venture along with being packaged and sold on to third-party groups who then sell it on again.  The reason for the thrid-party groups is even Google aren’t that stupid to advertise that they sell your data as more people would take precautions, thus denting their profitability.

“Don’t be evil”…  keep telling yourself that.

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