Lawmakers call for FTC review of Google Buzz

A bipartisan group of rank-and-file members of Congress has called on the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into Google Buzz, the search giant’s new social networking tool.

In a letter to FTC Chairman John Leibowitz, the lawmakers reiterated the privacy concerns that have been widely expressed about the inadvertent sharing of private information that Buzz seemed to invite, though they praised Google for subsequently making several changes to address some of the privacy issues.

Just the same, the group, led by Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), asked the FTC to launch a probe of Buzz, asking for answers about how many users have deactivated the service since its February launch, and to what extent Google ties the information collected in the service to its advertising operations.

“Due to the high number of individuals whose online privacy is affected by tools like this — either directly or indirectly — we feel that these claims warrant the commission’s review of Google’s public disclosure of personal information of consumers through Google Buzz,” the lawmakers wrote.

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