A Canadian citizen in the province of Manitoba is suing Google, asking it to pay for damages that allegedly caused the user’s private information to be released through its social network Buzz.
The claim that was filed through a Manitoba Court stated that Google jeopardized the privacy of it’s users when it allowed private profile information to be accessed by other members without consent.
The private information may have contained details such as the users home address and was allegedly viewed by everyone that “followed” the user. And, although the policy was changed soon after by Google, Buzz was initially activated automatically on Gmail accounts.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Norman Rosenbaum stated that based on Manitoba law “each and every privacy breach may bring with it an award of $5,000 in damages” and considering the fact it was filed as a class action suit, we may see a lot more Canadians jump on board.
After the launch of Google Buzz approximately one year ago, Google has made a public apology in regards to the Buzz privacy slip stating “we’re very sorry for the concern we’ve caused” on its corporate blog. The Canadian suit follows another Buzz-related lawsuit that was settled for $8.5 million in the United States in 2010.
A news release posted by Canada’s Office of the Privacy Commissioner stated back in February of last year that the office was flooded with citizens voicing privacy concerns.
We have seen a storm of protest and outrage over alleged privacy violations and my Office also has questions about how Google Buzz has met the requirements of privacy law in Canada,” Commissioner Stoddart, Ottawa