Sign up to our newsletter
This is not a surprise. Google made an egregious privacy error when they published people’s private contacts without consent. In a recent blog entry at the official Gmail blog http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/, Google claims to have rolled out the improvements they had promised. The feedback is that the improvements are not working and Google continues to completely disrespect the privacy of its users.
At http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=79fb78ff4448bcc0&hl=en, a user complains of trying to block someone only for that person to be unblocked a short time later. My own experience is that unfollow and block are often ineffective as well. Reports of problems maintaining user privacy are running rampant at http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/label?lid=3a63236689cf8dbd&hl=en, the support forum.
If you have a Gmail account, right now the best thing you can do is delete your profile, if you have one, and turn off Buzz. This is a beta product and the part about privacy has not yet received much in the way of development from Google.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the class action suit.
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET