It turns out there’s been an update to Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” policy.
Remember a month ago, how they said they weren’t going to be censoring Chinese search results anymore?
We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.
So yeah, a month later they’re still doing that. They haven’t changed anything.
Even better, by which I mean “worse”: You might not have heard of Google Buzz, but wow, it’s probably heard of you. You probably remember when their CEO Eric Schmidt said this:
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
Yeah, they did that. Think you’re having a bad privacy day? I hope it’s not as bad as this woman’s having:
I use my private Gmail account to email my boyfriend and my mother.
There’s a BIG drop-off between them and my other “most frequent” contacts.
You know who my third most frequent contact is?
My abusive ex-husband.
Which is why it’s SO EXCITING, Google, that you AUTOMATICALLY allowed all my most frequent contacts access to my Reader, including all the comments I’ve made on Reader items, usually shared with my boyfriend, who I had NO REASON to hide my current location or workplace from, and never did.
There are instructions here on how to get out from under that, but the key point is that just turning off Buzz isn’t enough; you need to play whackamole with a follower’s list you probably don’t even know you have first.
It’s not written down anywhere (there is, as of this writing, no comment about this Buzz disaster in any of their blog posts and the word “buzz” doesn’t appear in their privacy FAQ) but the updated policy appears to be:
“Don’t Be Evil*”
* Facilitating, collaborating are acceptable.