Tech giant Google backtracks over concerns with Google Buzz privacy settings

A barrage of negative publicity has forced Google to modify its most recent product launch, Google Buzz.

'Improved': GoogleBuzz
'Improved': GoogleBuzz

The tech behemoth released the social media platform last week to a wave of negative coverage over default privacy-setting flaws, leaving Google backpedalling to make changes over the weekend.

Peter Barron, head of communications, UK, Ireland and Benelux, Google, admitted: ‘We didn't get everything right, and we're working hard to improve things based on feedback from users. We have already made a number of major changes, but it's still early and we have further improvements on the way.'

Barron added: ‘We look forward to hearing more suggestions and will continue to improve Buzz, with transparency and control the priority.'

Google Buzz collects a range of content from social networks within one platform and has the unique selling point of building the network directly from the user's Gmail contacts.

The privacy issues being questioned stem from the public being able to see Gmail contacts who have most frequently been emailed or chatted with on the site.

Mark Pack, associate director, digital, Mandate Communications, said: ‘What's odd is Google usually releases products with beta labelling, but the software doesn't change a great deal.

‘In this case, the mirror image occurred: Google released the product out of beta, but was forced to make many changes. This suggests it has misjudged how people would react.'

Social networking site Facebook also suffered a backlash in the media last December following a change to its default privacy settings without consulting the site's users.

Ged Carroll, director, digital strategies, Ruder Finn, said: ‘Google has a licence to innovate from consumers and the media. However, too many high-profile failures and that licence may be rescinded.'

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.