Google Buzz has a big privacy problem. By default, the people you first follow on the Twitter- and-Facebook-fighting service are those you email or chat to most and they’re automatically added to your Google Buzz profile for anyone to see. Not so good if you’ve been speaking to someone you’d rather the world didn’t know about.
When you first sign up to Google Buzz, it makes you create a public profile that includes your name and photo, it also adds people you follow and people who follow you. However, your follower list is publicly available, immediately revealing the people you email and chat with most.
Exposing who you’re emailing most via Google Buzz will be a problem for anyone who uses their email for sensitive correspondence. Expect a story of a cheating spouse caught out because of their Google Buzz profile any day now.
Google obviously wants Google Buzz users to quickly find new people but combining auto-following with public follower lists is clearly a bad idea. There’s a lot you can learn from who someone emails or chats most to with their Gmail account.
If you’re worried about exposing your email habits to the world, simply unfollow everyone from your Google Buzz following list, then hop to the bottom of your Gmail window and click the link marked “Turn off Buzz”.