10 nations tell Google of privacy concern on Buzz
New York: Officials from Germany, Canada,
France and seven other countries are raising privacy concerns
to Google over the online search leader`s fumbled foray into
Google launched Google Buzz as part of its Gmail
service in February. It quickly came under fire for
automatically creating public circles of friends for users,
based on their most frequent Gmail contacts. After complaints,
the company apologised and made changes to the service.
But in the letter sent yesterday to Google CEO Eric
Schmidt, the officials said they are still ``extremely
concerned about how a product with such significant privacy
issues was launched in the first place.``
Google Street View is another area of concern, with
officials saying the company launched the mapping service _
which includes street-level photos taken by cameras mounted on
cars sweeping through neighbourhoods _ without ``due
consideration of privacy and data protection laws and cultural
"In that instance, you addressed privacy concerns
related to such matters as the retention of unblurred facial
images only after the fact, and there is continued concern
about the adequacy of the information you provide before the
images are captured,`` says the letter, which is posted on the
Web site of Canada`s privacy commissioner.
Google representatives could not immediately be
reached early today morning.
The other countries that signed the letter are
Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain
and the United Kingdom.
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