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.