Risk
2/16/2010
04:09 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Sorry About Buzz Privacy

But the company's apology isn't enough for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which has just filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

Google on Saturday apologized for bungling the Buzz launch and announced a second set of changes to its new social networking service to prevent it from compromising user privacy.

In a blog post, product manager Todd Jackson said that the buzz spread by the Buzz service, along with other forms of feedback, told the company that Buzz had problems. "We quickly realized that we didn't get everything quite right," he said. "We're very sorry for the concern we've caused and have been working hard ever since to improve things based on your feedback. We'll continue to do so."

On Thursday, Jackson said Google had decided to make the option to not display follower information on public profiles more visible. He also said that Google had made it possible to block followers who have not created a Google Profile and had made information about followers more clear.

On Saturday, Jackson acknowledged that the changes were insufficient and said that instead of automatically setting up people to follow, Buzz will now merely suggest people to follow.

Suggested people to follow will be listed with checked boxes next to their names. To start following these people, Buzz users will have to click on a menu option that says, "Follow selected people and start using Buzz."

Jackson also said that Buzz will no longer automatically connect to public Picasa Web Albums and shared items in Google Reader. And he said that Google plans to add a Buzz tab to its Gmail Settings menu, to make it easier to disassociate Buzz with Gmail or disable it.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about Google Buzz. "The primary issue is that users who signed up for Gmail have now found themselves users of a social networking service," said Jared Kaprove, EPIC's domestic surveillance counsel, in a phone interview. "E-mail is not completely private, but it's ordinarily thought of as a private process."

The problem, as framed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, "is that your e-mail and chat contacts are not necessarily people you want to advertise as friends via a public social network."

Kaprove says that despite the changes, Google Buzz remains essentially an opt-out service. "What they call a 'suggest model' still results in a screen with the boxes checked," he explained. To make the service more strictly opt-in, Kaprove suggests that the check boxes to follow people on Buzz should be in an unchecked state by default.

Google has traditionally preferred to set up services so that people have to opt-out rather than opt-in. Google's book scanning effort, Google News, and its search index all operate on the assumption that content owners want to be included.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.