Of course by now everyone in the social networking space is aware of the Google Buzz privacy issues and the corrective steps Google has taken. Not to beat up on Google, but this was a totally avoidable mishap. All Google needed to do was keep in mind one simple rule that inevitable invites disaster when ignored:
Always ask first!
If you look at at many of the recent public relations debacles such as the Buzz roll out and the recent Kindle 1984 flap, companies got in trouble for taking actions that they assumed the customer would be OK with. The when it turned out that they were in large numbers, not OK with it, they had to scramble to make amends.
And as I always say, “when you assume you make an ass out of U and, well U”.