Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Google Buzz: Security and Privacy Concerns

There has been a lot of buzz around "Google Buzz" lately. One fine day everyone got this pop-up in their Gmail asking if they would like to enable Google Buzz, now you thought lets be a sport and said yes.There you go, you started following all the persons in your contact list some of whom you don't even remember and may have sent an email or two.

Similarly others also started to follow you, other like the ones you may have seriously messed with and now they have the contact details of all the girls you are following :-P.

On a more serious note this opens up a lot of opportunities for spammers as they can become your follower and then go on spamming your Google Buzz with links to all sort of weird products and services before you can even find out how to block them.

Now I have been a fan of Google especially for their concern and care about user's privacy. They could have done much better than this, at least they could have given an option for the users to choose if they want to allow others to follow them, instead of automatically making them follow you. And you have to go and block each and every user individually to stop them follow you. there is no block all followers options.

Also if you have a follower who doesn't have a public profile there is no way of blocking him as of now, it seems that Google is going to add this option soon.

Basic privacy options are very essential, especially for an application which is integrated in your email. Because here you get a false sense of security and are not very cautious of who all are seeing your daily jabbers. On Facebook and other social networking site at least you know this is visible to all and you behave accordingly.

One more option that Google could have provided in Buzz was to let you have option of whether you want to send your post as an email or not to all your followers. Because if you want to delete a post just after you publish it before anybody to saw it, it's not possible because the post has already been sent to all your follower's Inbox.

The last but the greatest nuisance is that there is no simple way of disabling the Buzz. I had to dig around for quite a sometime after which I was able to disable it. I don't think a general user will be able to do that and may end up having Google Buzz even if he doesn't want it. And again a simple disabling by clicking on Turn Off Buzz link may not be the best way of doing it, as a lot of what you said still remains for public to be seen. And your followers are still following you.
Read my Post on "How to Disable Google Buzz completely and safely".

Google is now trying to patch up the security concerns and add privacy features in Google Buzz, how much and when only time will tell. But one thing is for sure Google has lost trust of many users and they will be shy next time to try out any newly launched Google products. Some may not enable Google Buzz again even after the concerns have been addressed. As they saying goes "Once burned twice shy"

Let me know about your Google Buzz experience and features you think should have been there.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi ,
    this is really very informative article on google buz, I my self being an IT profesional was not aware that by enabling buzz I had jeopardised my privacy. From hereafter I will not do a blind trust on GOOGLE.............

  3. Nice Post. Keep up the good work.
    Thank you very much.


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