Google Buzz launched this week with default privacy settings that publicly disclose a user's most frequent chat and e-mail partners. If that wasn't bad enough, they buried opt-out settings so deeply that it takes an 11 step tutorial to find your way through the counter-intuitive maze of links leading to the required pages. You'd think the company that pioneered simple UI design could do better if they wanted to.
Terms of Service.
Before using the mobile version, you must "agree that Google will use your location when you use Buzz." But the actual ToS stipulates, "You can also choose to exclude your location from all of your posts."
So which is it?
It seems to me that Google is following the lead of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who wrote in an open letter, "We've worked hard to build controls that we think will be better for you". I guess from their point of view, what's best for us is full disclosure of all personal information.
I don't believe that Google and Facebook are taking this stance out of pure self-interest. Instead, I think they equate "what's good for the network" with "what's good for the customer." And if a few individuals have information disclosed that they'd rather not share, well, that's the price we pay for the wondrous benefits of data-mined utopia, right? Right?