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International privacy watchdogs say they were disturbed by the recent rollout of the Google Buzz social networking application.

Privacy watchdogs in Canada and nine other countries are warning Google Inc. and other global firms to respect people's privacy rights.

They've sent a letter to Google, accusing it of overlooking privacy values and legislation in launching new online products.

Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is among those who signed the letter.

She says corporations like Google pay lip service to privacy, but it is not always reflected in the launch of new products.

The privacy watchdogs were particularly disturbed by the February rollout of the Google Buzz social networking application.

Google assigned Gmail users a network of "followers" from among people with whom they corresponded most often and melded this into Buzz without adequately telling users about this new service.

Gmail users were highly critical of the move, prompting Google to apologize and introduce changes to address the criticism.

The privacy watchdogs say the incident shows a "disappointing disregard for fundamental privacy norms and laws."

The other signatories on the letter include France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The privacy watchdogs are to hold a news conference Tuesday in Washington, where the International Association of Privacy Professionals is holding its annual global summit.