Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Creating a negative buzz

Who in the world, upon hearing the premise of Google Buzz, ever could have thought privacy issues might come into play for all those early adopters getting their "buzz" on?

Really, what in the world could be the problem when you, in effect, combine Twitter and Facebook with your clunky old G-Mail account?

WELL, this, according to Business Insider:
There is a huge privacy flaw in Google's new Twitter/Facebook competitor, Google Buzz.

When you first go into Google Buzz, it automatically sets you up with followers and people to follow.

A Google spokesperson tells us these people are chosen based on whom the users emails and chats with most using Gmail.

That's fine.

The problem is that -- by default -- the people you follow and the people that follow you are made public to anyone who looks at your profile.

In other words, before you change any settings in Google Buzz, someone could go into your profile and see who are the people you email and chat with most.

(Freaking out already? Here's how to IMMEDIATELY stop following someone >)
YOU ARE NOW FRIENDS with that cheap barfly from the Cougar Lounge in the Bide-a-Wee Motel. Boy, you E-mail her a lot. Thirty-seven people like this.

Your wife does not.

Personally, I try to avoid "friending" loose women from local drinking establishments. That's one reason I've been married almost 27 years now.

See, there are things that I electronically share only with a specific person or persons. That is called E-mail -- it's not perfectly private, but it's about as private as you get in cyberspace.

Then there are things I care to share with friends, acquaintances, friends of friends and friends of acquaintances. That is called Facebook -- it's a great tool for finding folks, catching up and keeping up.

Finally, there's this thing I use to spew out pithy little tidbits to whomever wants to read them. I also use it to, in a matter of speaking, keep my electronic ear to the ground. That is called Twitter.

I GUESS if I were someone who just couldn't manage to keep three applications straight in my head -- and on my computer -- I'd be interested in Google Buzz. But I bet if that were the case, I'd be someone you'd figure you couldn't trust with a secret.

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