Google likes to say it "does no evil," and for most of its short history, it has largely been seen that way by the public. But ever since the introduction of Gmail, a service that delivers highly-targeted ads by essentially reading your email, that proclamation has seemed a tad disingenuous. And now, with the Buzz privacy debacle in full force, comes news that a class action complaint has been filed in San Francisco over privacy issues with the service.
The legal complaint accuses Google of breaking various electronic communications laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The plaintiff is seeking injunctions to prevent the company from taking similar actions in the future, and unspecified monetary relief.
[The complainant] is seeking to bring the complaint on behalf of all Gmail users whose accounts were automatically linked to Buzz. The filing noted there were 31.2 million Gmail users in January and that Google "added the Buzz program to most or all of these accounts."
Given the severity of this backlash, is this the moment we will look back on in a couple years as the turning point for Google? The apex of their transition when they passed from trustworthy giant to loathsome behemoth?
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