After unleashing a Pandora’s box of privacy issues with the launch of their new Facebook wannabe “Google Buzz” feature earlier this week, Google now says they are taking the problem seriously.
“We’re very sorry for the concern we’ve caused and have been working hard ever since to improve things based on your feedback,” Google Buzz product manager Todd Jackson wrote in a statement over the weekend. “We’ll continue to do so.”
The “concern” at the heart of the problem is thus: When Google Buzz was launched, it automatically listed you as a “follower” of all of your most frequent Gmail and Google Chat contacts. Even worse, it made your followers list public knowledge to anyone following you, essentially negating the whole idea of having a private address book.
To remedy the situation, Google Buzz will no longer auto-add followers. Much like users of Google Reader have had to do for quite a while, you’ll have to manually create your follow/followers list. And speaking of Google Reader, Buzz will no longer automatically link in your Reader or Picasa accounts.
Of course, you could just turn it off and use Facebook and Twitter to follow your contacts’ random musings on the weather, American Idol and what have you.
Do you really need one site that combines every aspect of your life? Is there a danger to consolidating everything in one place, or do you find it to be a convenience?