Google's Buzz Kill
For a long time, the geniuses at Google (Stock Quote: GOOG) could do no wrong. But this time, they've hit a buzz saw.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google CEO Eric Schmidt blamed the less-than-stellar launch of its Buzz social networking service on "confusion" after a rash of customer complaints led to a privacy group filing a formal legal complaint about it. The Electronic Privacy Information Center complained to the Federal Trade Commission that the search giant-turned-Facebook wannabe violated the user agreement of its Gmail customers when it automatically signed them up to the new service and made public information about their friends.
"There was a lot of confusion when it came out on Tuesday, and people thought that somehow we were publishing their email addresses and private information, which was not true," said Schmidt. The CEO added that "the important thing is that no really bad stuff happens in the sense that nobody's personal information was disclosed."
Come on, Eric, the old 'No harm, No Foul' excuse is so Corporate Spin 101. You surely could have Googled a better one.
Dumb-o-meter score: 90 -- Watchdogs can be a real buzz kill.