keel da google!

18 02 2010

First, let me preface this by saying that I was one of the first 3000 people to ever get a gmail address. (Now if only I were one of the first 3000 to buy their stock, then I’d be telling a different story, and from a very tropical location to boot.) This was loooong before I joined my current employer, who shall remain nameless, where google is a 4-letter word. As time has passed I was relectant to fully drink the kool-aid (I’m stubborn that way and like to make up my own mind, thankyaverymuch) but this one DID it. It’s official: Keel da google. 

Big brother is here, and he is us. Google has broken wire-tap laws with this one. This is plain frightening. Buzz? Um, no. BuzzKILL is more like it.

One comment: “Regardless of whether a user clicked the button labeled ‘Sweet! Check out Buzz’ or “Nah, go to my inbox,’ Google Buzz was activated,” the complaint says.

And OMG, this comment slayed me: …others could find themselves listed publicly on Buzz because they are in someone else’s address book. Regardless of how private YOUR email program is, if you email with someone who has gmail, you could end up listed as a “follower” on that person’s Buzz account. Therefore, not only is this an invasion of those gmail account holders, it is an invasion into the privacy of us all.

Wow. Just wow.

How to disable Buzz (aka operation BuzzKill) is below. (Well, as off of it as possible anyway.) But first, a little humor, courtesy of our friends over at Pearls before Swine:

Operation BuzzKILL (how to disable the Buzz):

When you log in, tell it you do not want to test it out. But it still activates you automagically, so then when you get into your e-mail, you need to select the Buzz on the left menu list by the inbox, etc. You can then tell it to turn off, and then they bring up another screen where you can disable buzz and also check a box to remove yourself from anyone else’s buzz list and clear out any profile info they may have automagically populated on you from other information they’ve gathered. The buzz link no longer shows up in the menu list anymore.

So yup, all that stuff takes care of YOUR end. HOWEVER, from the comments thread, it looks like that if you’ve ever sent an email TO someone’s gmail account, FROM ANY of your email addresses (your gmail or your work or your yahoo, whoever), then you show up on THEIR Buzz. And you can’t do a danged thing about it.

Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil”.

My ass.

Enjoy….

Post script here: The scope.

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