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Google ends Buzz privacy row with FTC

Settles with regulator over rollout
Tue Oct 25 2011, 11:38

ONLINE SEARCH FIRM Google has settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and put to bed complaints about the way it forced people, and their personal details, onto its Buzz social networking service.

Unlike its Google+ social network, Google's Buzz had a rather blighted entrance to the market, thanks to the fact that it put users in the unfortunate position of having their contact lists exposed.

Google was charged with "deceptive practices" by the FTC back in March of this year. It has already apologised for its errors and has paid out $8.5m in damages to disgruntled users.

"The launch of Google Buzz fell short of our usual standards for transparency and user control-letting our users and Google down," it said. "We'd like to apologise again for the mistakes we made with Buzz."

The firm will work with the FTC to make sure that it never makes the same mistake again.

"The settlement resolves charges that Google used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy promises to consumers when it launched its social network, Google Buzz, in 2010," said the FTC in a statement. "The agency alleged that the practices violate the FTC Act. The settlement bars the company from future privacy misrepresentations, requires it to implement a comprehensive privacy program, and calls for regular, independent privacy audits for the next 20 years." µ


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