The Federal Trade Commissioner has harshly criticized Google’s controversial launch of its Buzz social networking service.
According to the Wall Street Journal, outgoing Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour said that a number of technology companies – including Google – are setting a “dangerous” precedent by publicly exposing consumer data, specifically during the introduction of new products.
“Protecting consumer privacy is of utmost importance,” Harbour emphasized during an FTC roundtable discussion about privacy.
“Unfortunately, many of the companies that consumers look to as leaders—and that we expect to be leaders—still have not taken this message entirely to heart.”
Harbor added that the launch of Google Buzz was “irresponsible conduct” by a company considered “one of the greatest technology leaders of our time.”
A Google spokesperson responded to the criticism by noting that user transparency and control was of the utmost importance for the company.
“When we realized that we’d unintentionally made many of our users unhappy, we moved quickly to make significant product improvements to address their concerns,” said the spokesperson.
“Our door is open to additional feedback and we’re continuing to make more improvements based on that feedback.”