Google Apologizes for Not Protecting User Privacy

It is now liable for independent reviews of its privacy procedures every two years for the next two decades

Last year, Google Buzz was blamed for failing to protect user data and accessing contacts books of users.

Google Appliance as shown at RSA Expo 2008 in ...

Image via Wikipedia

Google Buzz social network built inside Gmail turned out to be first ever privacy

protection horror for the company. Now, Google has finally

made peace with the Federal Trade Commission and apologized for the mistakes made with the Buzz service and ensured that the new privacy procedures would protect the interests of users. Too late for it, I suppose, as several users must have already stopped using it.

Privacy Group had filed a complaint with the FTC accusing Google for following ‘deceptive privacy practices’. The FTC stated that Google has violated the FTC Act by not informing the users about the privacy measures and didn’t offer them an option to decline or leave the social network service. Also, Google failed to obtain user’s permission to enable Buzz social network in advance.

Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC, said in the release: “This is a tough settlement that ensures that Google will honor its commitments to consumers and build strong privacy protections into all of its operations.”

Alma Whitten, Direct of Privacy (Product & Engineering) with Google, stated on its official blog:

Today, we’ve reached an agreement with the FTC to address their concerns. We’ll receive an independent review of our privacy procedures once every two years, and we’ll ask users to give us affirmative consent before we change how we share their personal information.

Google will implement a new privacy program and will also be liable for independent reviews of the privacy procedures every two years for the next two decades. WHOA! That’s a big one. So basically, Google goofed up over privacy, accepted its mistake and is now moving on.

Recently, Facebook‘s privacy debacle forced it to create a simplified privacy policy. We hope both the giants will ensure not to goof up on users privacy anymore.


About pratyushkp

A Newbie Social Media Blogger , Social Network Addict , Social Gamer ( Mafiawars , Farmville) , Working as a Marketing Specialist for a E-cards company.

Posted on April 4, 2011, in Social, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Seriously, that happened? That’s kinda cool.

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