When Google launched Buzz earlier this month, some shrugged it off as another social network and others thought it could be the next big thing. If Google had their pick, you can bet every last penny that they’d push Buzz as hard as possible in an effort to transform it into the next generation Twitter. Apparently, they pushed a bit too hard and some aren’t so happy.
As Google Buzz began rolling out to every single Gmail user within days of its release, the absence of the choice to opt-out would prove to become glaringly troublesome. When Gmail users logged into their accounts, they were met with a walk through that many chose to skip. Instead, every Gmail user was automatically linked to contacts that were most frequently emailed or chatted with. This automatic opt-in with no option to opt-out revealed private information to anyone who was automatically linked by default.
As it turns out, some Gmail users are beyond peeved. Yesterday, a class action law suit was filed in San Jose, California claiming that Google Buzz broke the law when it shared private data without the user’s consent. Eva Hibnick, the woman behind the suit says she’s not looking for a large payout but instead wants a commitment from Google that they won’t take the same route with any of their future product releases.
Since its introduction, Google has created a tab that allows users to disable their Buzz accounts, severing any and all connections that may have been made in its introduction. It’ll be interesting to see how this whole thing shakes out but you can bet Google will file this one under their lessons learned. How do you think the suit will end? Will Google have to pay out to all Gmail users affected by their mistake? That certainly wouldn’t be cheap.