back to article Google Buzz accused of EPIC FAIL

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) - a high-profile public advocacy group - has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission over Google Buzz, the Tweetbook-esque "social networking" service that Mountain View bolted onto Gmail early last week. In its complaint, EPIC says that the new service violated …

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can I shoot the author...

...who used the term "Epic Fail".

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For Buzz and other facebook/twitter-like stuff...

... I believe the term is appropriate.

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Jobs Horns

This is a disgrace.

I set my old mum up on gmail. What a mistake. I have to explain to her (in diff country) how to avoid having her info pimped to spammers and scammers. I can't do it as she has changed her pass. I could, but then she would have to go and change it again and would probably forget....

This is a real crock. Not all gmail users are v savvy. Some are vulnerable to all the downsides and have absolutely zero chance of any benefit from the upsides. There is no f'ing way she will use Buzz, never mind get any good from it. When you do something that messes up the vulnerable for profit, I think you can safely say that is evil. At least that myth is finally completely dispelled.

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Google not an ISP

The ECPA doesn't even mention the term "Internet service provider". Of course, Google isn't an ISP by the conventional definition of the term either. It does arguably operate an "electronics communication service", however.

The ECPA prohibits operators of electronic communication services from disclosing the _contents_ of electronic communications. The addresses of the people you have previously corresponded with are generally not considered _contents_, but rather addressing information, and there doesn't appear to be any restriction on the disclosure of the latter.

That doesn't mean it was a great idea for Google to do this without prior notification and/or consent. Of course, if you are a user of a free service, stuff like this is par for the course. Providers of free services must cover their costs somehow.

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Anonymous Coward

Might it not be more germane to suggest to users

that they avoid Google's services until such time as Google can prove it can be trusted with their data?

Google's really not having a very good year, thus far.

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Haha

Epic fail indeed :)

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Alert

The only way the FTC will do anything

Is if Google exposes its tits.

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Silver badge

or...

Say a bad word before 10pm.

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Tit-le

Methinks you've both mistaken the FTC for the FCC. One is the Federal Trade Commission and regulates business, the other is the Federal Communications Commission and gets involved in the things you mentioned.

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"violated user expectations,"

But we weren't expecting it. At least I wasn't.

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if not, then

If you don't like "epic fail" how about "Buzz kill"?

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Gold badge

Who's data is it?

I am very curious about the strict definitions of who "owns" the data. I am sure that in the EULA, you give Google the right to your firstborn as soon as you sign up. In this regard they would be no different from any other company on the web.

Now, my memory is fuzzy, but I seem to recall that there were a few cases of EULAs being declared null and void because the contract they imply breeched the laws of the country in which the trial was held. I have no idea if this has occurred yet in the U.S., or even if clauses such as “by signing up for our service, you give us the right to own your data forever and whore it to everyone” are even legal there. (What about in other jurisdictions?)

So an open question to the floor:

Who’s data is it? Yours, as the user, and as the individual who can be personally identified by the data? Or Google’s, who assuredly have a clause of 20 in every EULA they write giving them perpetual and total access to everything that hits their servers.

I’d really like to know.

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Pint

It already is...

...asking if you want Buzz added. I got a(n interstitial) prompt when logging in today, asking if I wanted to use Google Buzz.

Mind you, if someone asks if I want buzz added, it's usually one of the bartenders at my local...

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Anonymous Coward

... And then it ignores it.

I also got an interstitial prompt asking if I wanted Buzz added. I clicked 'No thanks'. It went ahead and added Buzz anyway.

This was last week, I don't know if they've changed it since then and I guess I never will, as I deleted my Gmail account entirely.

It was no great loss as I had stopped using it about four years ago, when they simply hadn't been able to understand why somebody might want a 'delete' button on their email. You'd think they'd have learned something in the intervening period, but apparently not.

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FAIL

Google itself...

...is an epic fail in my opinion. (Except, of course, for the billions the two students, Eric "Mr. Privacy" Schmidt, and a couple of early investors earned.)

In terms of useful products that got wide acceptance with the end users, I do not see too much:

Search, sure.

Adwords/Adsense, yes.

Maps, yeah.

News? Yes, but not monetized.

Youtube? Yes, but badly monetized.

Gmail? Maybe.

Android? Maybe.

Docs? Probably not.

Nexus one? Not yet.

Chrome browser? Not yet.

Froogle? Fail.

Base? Fail.

Buzz? Fail.

Blogger? Fail.

Google Groups? Forgotten.

Chrome OS? Next big failure coming up.

Countless other products that I can not even remember the name of? Fail fail fail.

Hence the FAIL icon.

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FAIL

@wgae

Google's large sums of loot imlpy that it can't be a fail.

Therefore it must be your judgement that has failed!

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FAIL

Hardly accurate

You list products "that got wide acceptance", and then go on to spout utter rubbish:

Gmail: "maybe"? I think not. 175 million users and certainly accepted as being far better than Hotmail or Yahoo in terms of ad intrusiveness and features.

Android: "maybe"? Given that projections are for 20m in sales this year, I'd say that's a definite 'yes'. And Nexus One comes under this, and is still new to the game.

Buzz: Loads of people I know already use it. I think it'll be popular. You can't discount it after a week - there's a facebook privacy brou-hah-hah every fortnight, but nobody's claiming they failed.

Blogger? How is that fail? They still run more of the internet blogs than anyone else. Wordpress is making inroads, but 90% of non-commercial blogs I visit are hosted on Blogger.

Groups? Lots of people still using them for discussion lists and forums.

And how can you claim ChromeOs is the next big failure when it's not even out yet?

Your post is the only thing failing here.

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Anonymous Coward

And this is why ....

I run my own domain mailservers so nothing will be installed other then basic email services, and do not use any of googles "app" features.

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@wgae

Come off it — Gmail and Android are made of win.

Gmail = easily the best email client ever.

Android = best smartphone OS out there (just).

@AC 09:55

If you want their grubby mitts off your data, you can buy the software.

Google's dips of late are all down to an autistic sense of customer service, IMO. Everything great they've done until a year ago was by giving awesome stuff to users. Now they've taken stuff (Buzz = private data; Nexus = money) and don't understand the problem when people say the exchange isn't fair.

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Pint

"If you want their grubby mitts off your data, you can buy the software"

Absolutely 100% correct, this seems to be the point that so many people miss when Google-bashing. It's very very easy to prevent them from using "your" private data - just put your hand in your pocket, pull out some cash and pay for a service that meets your standards of privacy

Until then, if you genuinely think you can get anything for free then you just carry on living in that fantasy world of yours.

Beer - because I want one

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WTF?

Bastards

Somehow, either through my use of YouTube of my use of their UseNet reader service, they have managed to create a GMail email account for me.

Not only that, they have managed to link my YouTube account to my Gmail account, such that now, all comments on my YT vids are no longer sent my email address, but to my GMail address.

Further, after reading this article I logged in to my GMail account (and got pages of unread YT comments) and saw that Buzz was switched ON. So was "Chat".

I've switched off Chat, and disabled Buzz, but, try as I might, I can't find a "CLOSE THIS FUCKING EMAIL ACCOUNT YOU BASTARDS" button... Can anyone help?

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Anonymous Coward

YouTube

Also worth checking You Tube and Maps settings, it seems the default settings are to make public your custom saved My Maps and You Tube viewings and subscriptions.

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Grenade

Annoyed +

Don't these stupid corporate morons "get it".... that "I" do not want to be a part of any fucking social revolution - where every shit I take is now online?

Facebook and their "new security settings" that are so ambiguously worded... and the multi-layering of settings within settings........

Facebook is run by stupid people - and there goes my entire world online for every prick to peruse - because some stupid fuck in Corporate Moron Land at Face Book thought it would be socially beneficial for everyone to "have it done" for them.

Fucking idiots.

Is there some kind of a shortage of brains in the world at the moment?

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