WARNING! Google Buzz Automatically Exposes Gmail Information

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by Itamar, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Itamar

    Itamar Member

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    Before you use Buzz, I suggest you read this article written by a journalist friend of mine and decide for yourself if you're willing to risk exposing your information to the public. Buzz has the potential to be very useful but also has the potential to be abused. Discuss if you wish.

    MOD EDIT:

    Let's make this easy for everyone.
    From the Link...

    By Adam Dickter
    February 11, 2010 2:58PM

    If you have Gmail, you may be live on Google Buzz. Without realizing it, your e-mail and personal data, including contacts, became exposed to public scrutiny. Gmail users were automatically added to Google Buzz with no privacy warning. Even Facebook, the subject of lawsuits and attacks by privacy advocates, doesn't automatically spill all the beans.

    After facing criticism and a lawsuit or two involving its privacy policies, Facebook can at least tell its critics that it's better than Google Buzz. By being part of the new Gmail social-networking service unveiled this week by the search giant, users are automatically exposing their Google profile, including their e-mail, to everyone who can do a Google search.
    And if that's not bad enough, the default setting allows anyone who connects with you to see your list of contacts. You can disable that setting, but then those contacts won't be accessible for sharing photos, links and daily witty updates.

    Not Customizable

    Google Buzz is essentially a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, with the innovation that it makes use of an existing network . If you have Gmail, you don't have to join Buzz -- you're already on. By finding a small-print link on the bottom of your inbox, you can opt to "turn off Buzz."

    Sharon Udasin, 25, a New York-based writer and Gmail user since 2005, took immediately to Buzz, but with some reservations.

    "As a young journalist, I like to have every form of online social networking at my fingertips at all times, and am excited to see how Buzz goes," she said. "My concern with Buzz, however, is that there is only an 'on and off' option, rather than a customizable scale of privacy settings."

    After much criticism about its privacy settings, Facebook in December allowed users to be more selective about what information can be seen by the general public, within the system , and via Internet searches.

    When clicking on Buzz, which now appears directly under the inbox link, Gmail users may find that Buzz users are already following them, and then have the chance to modify their profile. By unchecking a box, users can keep the list of people who are following them, and who they are following private.

    Blind Date

    Until then, your significant other will be able to see that you're still e-mailing your ex, or your boss may see that you're e-mailing recruiters from another company or an employment agency.

    "The Buzz service itself has a lot of nice features; in many ways it's FriendFeed integrated into Gmail," said Interpret Vice President Michael Gartenberg. "The problem is that Google made it very easy for users to opt in to the service without letting them know exactly what they were getting into. Making it harder is that some of the key settings for Buzz aren't in Gmail, but rather associated with your Google profile.'

    Gartenberg noted that the ability to have e-mail relationships exposed is a concern to many people. "Added to a detailed location-based mobile service that exposes location not only to friends but everyone around you, you have some issues regarding privacy and default settings that need to be tweaked," said Gartenberg.

    "The tight integration to Gmail does mean Google is likely to get many users early on, but at the same time many of those users might not realize exactly what they've signed up for," he added.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2010
  2. dezymond

    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    interesting....

    haven't used buzz yet, but this is definitely a concern.
     
  3. Ridley

    Ridley Member

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    Man oh man, that is a poorly written article.
     
  4. Adlerson

    Adlerson Member

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    Sad to say, I have to agree.
    The topic is interesting (I'm on Buzz myself, now), but the article was more confusing than anything else.
     
  5. iPirate

    iPirate Active Member

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    If you post a public buzz, anyone can see it. If someone comments or likes your buzz, people can see it.

    Private buzz can only been seen by people you want to see it.

    Contacts can see who you follow and who follows you. (just like twitter)



    That is what I have seen so far, doesn't bother me, and what I buzz about is never private information.
     
  6. Boris Badenov

    Boris Badenov Member

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    don't follow me! i am lost too...

    ...i turn that damn thing off the first day.
     
  7. CorvetteAustin24

    CorvetteAustin24 Member

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    People worried about this invading your privacy should probably take the taxi. Who knows what kind of information people can find about you from your license plate number! :icon_eek:
     
  8. Skymutt

    Skymutt Member

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    I haven't looked at the options in too much detail, but it's probably more of the same thing as FB. Someone notices that all this stuff CAN happen, but doesn't notice (or doesn't point out) that you're in full control of your own privacy settings and only need a minute to lock them down.
     
  9. dezymond

    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    i'm more concerned if others can see my contacts phone#. sites like FB give a page but usually people "lock the page" from non-friends
     
  10. iPirate

    iPirate Active Member

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    They can see your contacts and whatever information they share on their profile but not your phone #.
     
  11. KevinJ

    KevinJ Member

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    I shut it off immediately. Not out of security concerns, but because I have no need for it.
     
  12. lschicky

    lschicky Member

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    Even if you aren't using Google buzz, you should check out your google profile if using any of their services. There is an option somewhere under the profile in buzz to stop others from seeing who you are following and who is following you (Edit Profile -> About me, some checked boxes)
     
  13. Mateles

    Mateles Member

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    The thing that scares me is Buzz via Maps on the Droid. I'm seeing buzzes from people I don't know, down the street, showing their full name, picture and location. I don't see a "private" option when buzzing through maps on the Droid.
     
  14. HolyGrail

    HolyGrail Premium Member Premium Member

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  15. lschicky

    lschicky Member

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    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010