Four Things I Don’t Like About Google Buzz

Google Buzz created a quick buzz in the blogosphere, but in this quick start-up process they introduced some serious privacy flaws.

What are these features (Flaws) in Google Buzz I really don’t like:

1) The Auto-follow feature
2) My following and followers list is visible to others
3) By default my private Picasa albums is visible to strangers
4) Anyone whom I don’t know can see my email address by default

Let’s talk one by one on these flaws:

1) The Auto-follow feature:

When Google Buzz first released for Gmail users, you started seeing your followers list by default. You neither approved any one to follow you nor you started following anyone. But still Google picked some frequently mailed and chat users from your Gmail history and added them in your followers list. This is the worst privacy flaw I think.

When I first saw my followers list I saw many strange names from whom I just got one or two marketing mails. Is this a good follower’s list? Certainly not! So Google should first stop Auto-follow feature.

And Google did this. Due to the immense pressure and criticism from Gmail users Google quickly apologized to users and changed auto-following to auto-suggest.

2) My following and followers list is visible to others:

By default anyone following me can see my followers and following list. I don’t want this to protect my and my friend’s privacy. Just go to Google Buzz tab. Click on name of any person following you and you will see all Gmail users who are following this person!!

Thank god, Google also fixed this. Now by default your followers and following list will not be visible to anyone and you can control these settings.

3) My private Picasa albums are visible to strangers by default
Why would I like any stranger to view my private Picasa album? Google Buzz by default links your Google Picasa and Google reader account with Google Buzz, making it public.

Now this too, is fixed and now by default no site will be linked to your Google Buzz account.

4) Anyone whom I don’t know can see my email address by default
This is most serious privacy breach. This allows any stranger to see and catch your Gmail address. This can be used by spammers to collect Gmail addresses for sell.

Google buzz privacy flaws

Go to your Google Buzz tab. Click on any buzz topic having some comments. Just hover mouse cursor over some user names in this comment list. For most of the users you will see profile link (Sample link below):

See the last “abcd.asdf” is by default your Gmail user name! Google makes your Gmail user name as your profile name by default, unless you change it from the edit profile settings, where you will have another option to show some numbers in profile link like:

To change this go to your edit profile page and change your “Profile URL” to show numbers instead of Gmail user name.

This is not yet fixed by Google, and by default your Gmail user name is used in your profile link.

People are strongly urging Google to make serious notes of all such privacy complaints otherwise Google could not be trusted anymore.

3 thoughts on “Four Things I Don’t Like About Google Buzz”

  1. ah, my Google buzz profile link was with my email id. Now I changed it. thanks for the tip.

    One thing not clear, why Google didn’t think of all this? or they just took all us for granted?

  2. Nice article to point out the lake of features control in new Google Buzz.
    But i think now Google is fix all these features.

    Even you have to Select about to display your Email publicly or not.
    Also you want to display your Profile publicly or not.

    Google Buzz is on the go like a Fire in Forest.
    I see many of my Friends already there.

    I am really Enjoying Evy Day Buzz from my Friends and Blogs i like to visit often.


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