UK warns Google on privacy
April 22, 2010
The UK privacy watchdog has joined nine other countries to push Google to adopt stricter privacy controls. Christopher Graham, the UK’s information commissioner, has joined countries including Germany, Canada and Spain in signing a letter challenging Google to protect its users more.
The commissioner claimed the concerns of citizens across the world were “being forgotten” as Google introduces more and more products. It followed problems with Google Buzz, a social networking application that triggered a storm of protest when it was launched and automatically connected people via their email accounts. Google was forced to quickly change Google Buzz to allow users more choice in who would be in their networks.
“It is unacceptable to roll out a product that unilaterally renders personal information public, with the intention of repairing problems later as they arise,” the joint letter said. It added: “We call on you … to incorporate fundamental privacy principles directly into the design of your new services.”