Google Buzz: what’s the story?

For this week’s PR Week podcast, I was interviewed about the launch of Google Buzz and its implications for privacy and for those working in PR:

These issues also get a further airing in PR Week‘s story, Tech Giant Google Backtracks Over Concerns With Google Buzz Privacy Settings which says in part:

Google Buzz collects a range of content from social networks within one platform and has the unique selling point of building the network directly from the user’s Gmail contacts.

The privacy issues being questioned stem from the public being able to see Gmail contacts who have most frequently been emailed or chatted with on the site.

Mark Pack, associate director, digital, Mandate Communications, said: ‘What’s odd is Google usually releases products with beta labelling, but the software doesn’t change a great deal. In this case, the mirror image occurred: Google released the product out of beta, but was forced to make many changes. This suggests it has misjudged how people would react.’

Social networking site Facebook also suffered a backlash in the media last December following a change to its default privacy settings without consulting the site’s users.

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