Despite changes Google made to privacy settings in its social notworking tool Buzz, privacy advocate, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has gone ahead and filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The complaint said that Google was operating unfair and deceptive trade practices by changing its Gmail service to a social networking service without asking its users for consent.
The complaint focuses on the importance of email privacy alleging that “improper disclosure of even a limited amount of subscriber information by an email service provider can be a violation of both state and federal law.”
Gmail, EPIC continued, include deeply personal information – that includes the names and emails of estranged spouses, lovers, attorneys and doctors.
The activation of Buzz disclosed not only parts of users’ contact lists. “The fact that the auto-following lists were composed of users’ most common Gmail contacts was widely known and publicized, as well as easily deduced by individual users,” claimed EPIC.