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For the second time this week, the Gmail Team has announced updated security features to Google’s new social media platform, Buzz. Deployed last week, Buzz quickly came under fire for its automatic setup and less-than-impressive privacy controls. In response Google rapidly made several tweaks to Buzz two days after launch, and again yesterday, Google announced it is prepared to push out additional security modifications within the next few days. The new privacy settings include:

  • Buzz will not automatically set up to follow anyone until you have reviewed the suggestions and clicked “Follow selected people and start using Buzz.”
  • Buzz will no longer connect your public Picasa Web Albums and Google Reader shared items automatically.
  • There will now be a Buzz tab in the Gmail Settings. From there, you’ll be able to hide Buzz from Gmail or disable it completely. In addition, there will be a link to these settings from the initial start-up page so you can easily decide from the get go that you don’t want to use Buzz at all.

Google had this to say for those that already have Buzz setup: “For the tens of millions of you who have already started using Buzz, over the next couple weeks we’ll be showing you a similar version of this new start-up experience to give you a second chance to review and confirm the people you’re following. If you want to review this list now, just go to the Buzz tab, click “Following XX people” and unfollow anyone you wish. If you don’t want to share the lists of people who are following you and people you are following publicly on your profile, you can opt out at any time from the edit profile page.” Follow the read link to see the official Gmail Blog.

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