Thursday, March 31, 2011
Google is finding out that the long-term effects of a PR mistake can be expensive. Google launched its social networking service called Buzz last year and in the process, it crossed the line in protecting user privacy. The FTC has struck back and demanded that Google conduct independent privacy audits on its policies for up to 20 years. That was in lieu of a stiff fine. Google will remember its breach for decades. The irony of the situation is that Google's mistake seemed innocent enough, and the company back-pedaled after protests. That wasn't enough, however, to keep the FTC from making an example of it. It is a reminder that poor PR has economic consequences.