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Yeah, not quite. There's a missing step in that, and it's being missed out by everybody making histrionic blog posts about this. What happened was those people were invited to follow you. When you created your Buzz public profile, which you gave Google permission to do, those people were given access to your real name, etc etc ...
The first time you use Buzz, you're told you have to create a public profile to use it. Even in the early, not-as-explicit-as-now, warning box there was a link to a page explaining the ramifications. I made my profile public knowing exactly what would result. Google didn't invade your privacy, they just invited you to let the troops in.
In the future, you'll still Google people you do business with. You'll know the real freaks by the lack of hits. Either they're a luddite, or hired a cutter to hide something awful.
it works in exactly the same way as Facebook currently does (yes, including pre-populated followers if they have your email address).
"Today, we're launching Google Buzz, a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting and share updates, photos, videos and more. Buzz is built right into Gmail, so there's nothing to set up — you're automatically following the people you email and chat with the most."
So where's the opt-in part that I'm missing? Not snarking or anything, I'm actually feeling like the slow person in the class. On the day it launched, a screen popped up in my Gmail, and I chose something like "I don't want to use Buzz" (paraphrasing) but I still got automatically added to the service.
There is also a "Welcome To Buzz" panel that shows who you are following and who is following you. In a long bit of unbolded text, it says "Buzz is a new way to share updates, photos, videos and more, and start conversations about the things you find interesting. You're already set up to follow the people you email and chat with the most." (Emphasis mine)
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