Class action suit filed in fed court against Google Buzz

A handful of Google Buzz skeptics filed a class action lawsuit in a federal court on Wednesday, alleging the tech giant shared their personal information without first obtaining their consent.

The service, which Google coupled with its popular Gmail client, automatically adds and displays a user's personal contacts on his or her Buzz page. From there, those contacts can freely browse the Buzz pages of a user's other friends -- creating a privacy concern, some critics charge, whereby information is shared without permission.


Many fear this high degree of access could enable online stalking, implicate some users in affairs or expose reporters' controversial sources.

But the case filed in a San Jose federal court this week mostly argues the neophyte social network violates the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a 1986 law that governs how digital information may be accessed and shared online.

Google declined to comment on that case to reporters, noting only it had not yet been served with the complaint.

Nevertheless, it is not the only trouble facing Google Buzz, which the company unveiled just last week. Seperately, at least one privacy group has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to take action against the new social network, which some advocates say violates "opt-in" consumer protection laws.