That big smack you just heard? It was the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) whacking Google in the chops for not properly notifying Gmail users that they’d be automatically enrolled in the company’s answer to Facebook and Twitter, Google Buzz.
Google Buzz Didn’t Have An Opt-Out Mechanism, Originally
When Google launched Buzz in 2010, it did it by importing the personally identifiable information of Gmail users to create default accounts in buzz. The problem, according to the FTC and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), was the search engine giant’s failure to provide an opt-out mechanism. Since the company didn’t inform users of the automatic enrollment, users couldn’t opt out.
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