Google tweaks Buzz to address privacy concerns
Just two days after Buzz rollout, Google tries to quell initial user angst
Computerworld - Just two days after launching its Buzz social networking tools, Google last night said it has tweaked the technology address early privacy concerns.
Google last night disclosed in a blog post that the quick updates makes it easier for users to block access to their pages and eases the path to finding two privacy features.
"We've had plenty of feature requests, and some direct feedback," wrote Todd Jackson, a product manager for Gmail and Google Buzz, in the blog post. "In particular there's been concern from some people who thought their contacts were being made public without their knowledge (in particular the lists of people they follow, and the people following them). In addition, others felt they had too little control over who could follow them and were upset that they lacked the ability to block people who didn't yet have public profiles from following them."
Google earlier this week threw its hat into the social networking ring when it announced new Gmail features designed to make the e-mail service more of a social networking hub. Google Buzz is the company's attempt to make the flood of social posts, pictures and video easier to weed through, and to make it easier to find important information.
Users had started expressing concerns about the complexity of the privacy setting almost immediately after Tuesday's launch of Buzz. Some users also took Google to task for allowing Buzz users to view the targets of their e-mail messages.
Jackson said Google moved to tweak Buzz quickly to answer such concerns.
In his blog post, Jackson showed how Google changed the tools so that users can opt out of publicly sharing the lists of people they follow, as well as people who are following them. "We are making this option more prominent in the set up process, to ensure everyone who wanted to hide these lists can do so easily," Jackson wrote.
Google also added more "Block" links to the lists of a user's followers. "Previously, you were only able to block people from following you after they had created a public profile," said Jackson. "Now, you can block anyone, regardless of whether or not they've already created profiles for themselves."
The company also made a tweak to the service that's designed to enable users to see who is on their public list of followers.
"We designed Buzz to make it easy to connect with others and have conversations about things that interest you, and it's great to see millions of you doing this already," wrote Jackson. "It's still early, and we have a long list of improvements on the way. We look forward to hearing more suggestions and will continue to improve the Buzz experience with user transparency and control top of mind."
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, send e-mail to email@example.com or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed .
- Lawmakers want FTC probe of Google Buzz
- Mike Elgan: How Buzz, Facebook and Twitter create 'social insecurity'
- Google slapped with class-action lawsuit over Buzz
- Google fixes Buzz bug
- After outcry, Google revamps Buzz networking application
- Mike Elgan: How Google Buzz for mobile will change your life
- Google tweaks Buzz to address privacy concerns
- Image gallery: The full buzz on Google Buzz
- Review: The full buzz on Google Buzz
- Google feeds mobile social craze with a little Buzz
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
- Six Ways Your Small Business Can Save with Internet Phone Service Traditional phone systems present two main problems for businesses: limited features and high costs. As a result, small businesses are migrating to Internet...
- Face Time Anytime Real-time communications facilitates team collaboration from nearly anywhere in the world. With facts and figures you can use to justify an investment
- Now is the time to implement a video conference solution Video conferencing is getting a lot of buzz lately due to the recent cost decrease, making it tangible for many law firms. It's...
- Video drives engagement Achieving maximum results means building a solid platform and network infrastructure. As digital age unfolds, it's clear that the ability to communicate effectively...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts