Lawmakers Want FTC To Investigate Google Buzz

Google Buzz is having a bad day. I reported earlier about the lack of search interest in Buzz, but there’s a potentially more serious legal problem coming: A group of 11 lawmakers is asking the FTC to investigate whether Google Buzz violated consumer privacy regulations.

BusinessWeek reported over the weekend that 11 members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have sent a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. The Hill quotes the letter, which is critical of “Google’s practice of automatically using consumers’ e-mail address books to create contact lists for Buzz and then publicly disclosing the names of those private contacts.”

Google responded to the news as it has in the past, by saying that it “moved quickly” to tweak Google Buzz when the complaints began rolling in shortly after its launch.

Two weeks ago, an outgoing FTC commissioner slammed Google over how it launched Buzz. Within a week of that launch, in fact, the Canadian government was said to be reviewing Buzz.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Google: Buzz | Google: Critics | Google: Legal | Legal: Privacy


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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