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Google buzz gets buzzed: Set to shut down, migrate to Google Drive

By Michael Mayday , May 26, 2013 12:33 PM EDT
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Google Buzz, Google's first foray into the world of social networking, is finally getting buried, despite being shut down in 2011.

Google sent out the date for the failed service's funeral, and, in an email, said it'll soon be migrating Buzz data to Google Drive.

"In October 2011 we announced Google Buzz was shutting down," the email said. "On or after July 17th, 2013, Google will take the last step in the shutdown and will save a copy of your Buzz posts to your Google Drive, a service for storing files online."

That Buzz data will be split into two groups: one will consist of a user's private Buzz data, the other will consist of the data that a user shared publicly. The public data set will be made viewable to anyone who happens to have a shared link. User comments will wind up being the property of whoever made the original post, meaning you won't be able to manage your comments on other people's data sets.

Those comments, too, may appear with your Google Profile and in Google searches after the data migration. So if you've written some questionable or embarrassing posts or comments, you'll have to hurry to cut them out of Buzz before they become a part of the public Internet forever. But if you choose to delete you comments, you'll also be required to delete all of your data as well.

Google Buzz was launched in 2010, and was built around the idea of making an article or idea "buzz" on the Internet by sharing and promoting content. But the service had its issues. Most notable amongst its problems were its privacy flaws, which were imbedded into the service.

As BusinessInsider reported in 2010, the service automatically matched users with others based on Gmail correspondence. Not a big issue until some users realized that they could see who emails and chats with who based on their Buzz accounts.

That massive flaw had some real world implications. It could, for example, expose industry and government leaks or informants and even reveal the location and workplace of people who were abused by an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

Those privacy concerns launched a successful lawsuit against Google, costing the company $8.5 million and 20 years worth of privacy audits with the Federal Trade Commission. The service was killed in 2011, less than two years after it launched. Google+, Google's current social networking offering, was launched six months before the demise of Google Buzz.

Google said a user's newly created Buzz data files will not count towards their Google Drive storage allowance.

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