Google introduces smut censor for YouTube:Google has introduced a “safety mode” for YouTube
watchers that filters out smut and other objectionable material, the
Google’s Buzz is facing flak from critics over what they have dubbed
as the biggest privacy breach in its history.
Google had introduced Buzz, which is similar to social networking
sites like Facebook, to its email service Gmail, but in doing so it
automatically made public its users’ most frequently talked-to
tool is now facing an avalanche of complains, as it has given an
easy access to user information.
of those who complained included a woman whose abusive ex- husband
was able to find sensitive information about her after signing in to
Journalists whose confidential sources were revealed to other users
by Buzz, and political activists whose contacts were made public and
potentially open to analysis by government investigators.
make matters worse, the system selected which contacts were made
public, with some users reporting that people they had only spoken
to once appeared on the list.
Google at the weekend apologised for the error and announced it
would make changes to the system.
“Since we launched Google Buzz four days ago, we’ve been working
around the clock to address the concerns you’ve raised,” News.com.au
quoted product manager Todd Jackson as writing on the Gmail Blog.
However that is unlikely to satisfy critics, who view the mistake as
a sign Google does not take the privacy of its users seriously.
Articles criticising Buzz have flooded popular social news sites
like Digg, with headlines including: “And you thought Facebook had
story that has attracted most interest describes how one blogger’s
details became available to her abusive ex husband and is titled:
“F— you Google”.
know who my third most frequent contact is. My abusive ex-husband,”
wrote the author.
“Which is why it’s SO EXCITING, Google, that you AUTOMATICALLY
allowed all my most frequent contacts access to my Reader, including
all the comments I’ve made on Reader items, usually shared with my
boyfriend, who I had NO REASON to hide my current location or
workplace from, and never did.
you, Google. My privacy concerns are not trite. They are linked to
my actual physical safety,” she had stated.
Meanwhile, Tech Crunch said the idea of linking private
communications - email - with social networking was “just asking for
“Google is - deservedly - getting a lot of heat for the fact that
its latest social product has a number of privacy flaws baked into
it by design,” it said.
was rolled out to the entirety of Gmail’s estimated 176 million
Speaking to Computerworld, Australian Privacy Foundation chairman Dr
Robert Clarke said the privacy incursion bordered on illegal.
“Personal data about them has been re-purposed without formal notice
to them and without consent,” he said.
“This is quite possibly illegal use and disclosure of personal data
without consent,” he added. (ANI)