Google and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the regulator responsible for consumer protection, reached an amicable agreement as part of the investigation into the launch of Buzz. In February 2010, Google launched this new social network, built largely on its mail service Gmail. But very quickly, many users complained about the lack of control they had over their personal information in Buzz. The service added by default example the frequent contacts from Gmail as “friends” of the user in Buzz, and you can erase information or cancel an account were not available or ineffective.
The search engine had corrected this a few days later, by introducing new control options, but the FTC had before it. “Sometimes we make mistakes,” said Alma Whitten on Wednesday, the head of privacy issues at Google, the blog of the company. After the launch of Buzz, the FTC has, and not surprisingly, wanted to know what went wrong and what precautions we should take to prevent this from happening again. ”
The agreement between Google and the controller provides for an independent audit of procedures for the protection of privacy will be conducted every two years during the next twenty years. The search engine is also committed to seek the explicit consent of its users at any modification of the conditions for sharing personal information. In a press hard on the search, John Leibowitz, FTC Chairman, said that “when companies take an oath to protect privacy, they must keep their word.” The FTC also points out that this is the first time she felt compelled to impose a policy of protection of privacy in a company.
After the incredible launch, Buzz was unable to prevail. Presented as Google’s answer to Facebook 150 – denied that the search, saying it was a different service – Buzz is now little used. Indirect indicators, as the number of Google searches on this network suggests that Buzz does not raise much enthusiasm.