Plots and Thoughts

The First Google Buzz Victim

Posted in Musings, Observations by Captain Optimistic on February 17, 2010
Google Buzz has a privacy problem.  Sometime blocking people doesn’t quite take. I’ve experienced this myself.  A friend of mine did as well, only in her case it was an ex-boyfriend.  An ex who now has an extensive criminal record (which includes assault).  So after she had blocked him, she posted info on a private party.  He wasn’t really blocked, so he found out.  He attended.  She eventually blocked him on Buzz after several tries, but by then the damage was done.  He then proceeded to find her on Facebook (which she has reasonably locked down).  She thus far hasn’t been able to block him there at all.
Privacy isn’t an abstract civil right, it is central to our reasonable expectations of safety within society.  Without privacy there is no security.  While my friend mulls a restraining order, I’m left wondering why Google launched such a dangerously broken product.  I’m also wondering what is going on with Facebook.  Facebook is nearly always buggy, but as with Google Buzz, those bugs can have deadly consequences for users.  Plenty of enterprise grade websites function daily without the host vital problems we see here.  These sorts of bugs are not a fact of web development, they are the result of incompetence.
Google and Facebook need to step it up before someone is hurt, and their asses land rightfully in court.