Local Class Action Complaint Filed Over Google Buzz

Look guys, I wasn’t completely wrong (even though lot of you thought I was) when I had said that ‘Google Buzz‎’ is probably going to Flop as it’s too Late, Intrusive and Dull! And it certainly looks like that I’m not the only one who thinks this way. GOOGLE is facing legal action over claims it breached privacy laws with its controversial social networking service Buzz.

A class action complaint filed in San Jose federal court alleges that Google Inc. broke the law when its controversial Google Buzz service shared personal data without the consent of users. The case was filed on Wednesday on behalf of Eva Hibnick, a Florida woman, by law firms in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and the plaintiff is seeking both monetary relief and injunctions to prevent Google from taking similar actions in the future.

Local Class Action Complaint Filed Over Google Buzz

The filing is the latest in a string of criticisms generated by the Mountain View Internet giant’s social networking tool, since it launched last week. Among other things, critics raised concerns this could — or possibly did — aid stalkers, jeopardize journalist sources, or hint at affairs.

Hibnick is seeking to bring the complaint on behalf of all Gmail users whose accounts were automatically linked to Buzz. The filing noted there were 31.2 million Gmail users in January and that Google “added the Buzz program to most or all of these accounts.”

Google has apologized for various Buzz shortcomings in a series of blog posts and quickly announced some changes in the way Google Buzz handles private data (e.g. changed Auto-follow to auto-suggest, Buzz will no longer connect to Google Reader or Picasa Web Albums automatically and now has options for users to shut down Google Buzz completely) but that might actually reinforce the case that Buzz’s original behavior was breaking the law. However, Google declined to comment on this new case, claiming it hasn’t yet been served with the complaint!

The Electronic Privacy Information Centre filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission earlier this week arguing that enrolment to the product should be voluntary and that users should have more meaningful control over their information.

Amazing isn’t? Google Buzz is just about 1 week old and we already have some class action already?


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