I admire Google's willingness to admit its mistakes with Google Buzz privacy settings (or lack thereof in the beginning) but the "double check your privacy settings" prompt expected to roll out to all users soon is too little, too late.
After all, asking users -- one more time -- to check their privacy settings won't correct the damage already done. It seems the time and effort would be better spent ensuring the next project sent to beta for public use does not walk all over users' privacy.
Maybe its an image thing and Google wants to improve its reputation for caring about privacy, so it's going above and beyond. Maybe it's the result of negotiations around a class-action lawsuit filed in response to Buzz privacy issues. I doubt we'll ever know for certain, but whatever the reason, Mashable's Ben Parr reports Google will soon prompt Buzz users to "confirm or change" their privacy settings.
Parr's theory on the reason behind this move goes something like this:
Perhaps it'll help get Congress off [Google's] back. If it can appease critics on the privacy issues, then it can tackle the bigger challenge: making Google Buzz into a competitive threat.
Makes sense to me. For Google's sake, I hope it works.