By Ed Oswald | Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm
In an open letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, eight countries including Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom took the search provider to task over its recently released Google Buzz product. At issue was the way the feature automatically added people as “followers” without any consent.
Critics immediately slammed the company for the move, something the privacy officials signing the letter said ran afoul of privacy laws of many countries. “This was not the first time you have failed to take adequate account of privacy considerations when launching new services,” the letter reads.
These officials say the company completely ignored privacy issues that should have been “readily apparent.” Indeed, the method which the company launched the service seemed a tad bit underhanded, and forced the company to have its users reconfirm their privacy status.
Also mentioned in the letter was Google Street View — which especially in the EU stirred concerns that it was not taking enough into account for the privacy and safety of those photographed.
Google’s response? That they have discussed these issues repeatedly “and have no further comment on the matter.”