Google admits Buzz flaws, but says no one was hurt

google buzz

Google has admitted it should have tested its Buzz social networking service more before releasing it, but chief executive Eric Schmidt stressed no one had been hurt by the confusing privacy controls.

Apologising on behalf of Google, product manager Todd Jackson admitted in an interview with the BBC that many Buzz users were "rightfully upset" about the privacy weaknesses in the social networking system.

"We're very early in this space. This was one of our first big attempts," Jackson said.

Jackson also admitted that Google had only tested Buzz internally, and hadn't even rolled it out to its "Trusted Tester" network, made up of friends and family of employees.

"We've been testing Buzz internally at Google for a while. Of course, getting feedback from 20,000 Googlers isn't quite the same as letting Gmail users play with Buzz in the wild," he added.

Since the launch of Buzz earlier this month, Google has been forced to make two separate sets of changes to boost privacy.

While Jackson promised Google would make more changes if users demanded it, chief executive Eric Schmidt said the system's privacy was fine.

"I would say that we did not understand how to communicate Google Buzz and its privacy," he said, speaking at Mobile World Congress this week.

"There was a lot of confusion when it came out... and people thought that somehow we were publishing their email addresses and private information, which was not true."

"I think it was our fault that we did not communicate that fact very well, but the important thing is that no really bad stuff happens in the sense that nobody's personal information was disclosed."

Read on for our first look review of Google Buzz.