A privacy watchdog group complained to federal regulators on Feb. 16 about Google’s new Buzz social networking service, saying it violates federal consumer protection law, reports the Associated Press. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed its complaint with the Federal Trade Commission just days after Google Inc. altered the service to address mounting privacy concerns. Since launching Google Buzz as part of Gmail a week ago, the search company has come under fire for automatically creating public circles of friends for users based on their most frequent Gmail contacts. Over the weekend, Google altered the service to merely suggest contacts for its users’ social networks. Despite the changes, EPIC argues that privacy violations remain because Google automatically signs up Gmail users for Buzz, rather than waiting for them to do so themselves. EPIC wants the FTC to require Google to make Buzz a “fully opt-in” service. It also wants the company barred from using Gmail address book contacts to compile social networking lists…

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staff and wire services reports