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This week Google’s new invitation-only Orkut service exploded, with exponential growth assuring dozens of invitations in my mailbox (and probably yours), from people that you may or may not consider “friends.”

After signing up a bunch of my friends, my co-author Gene Spafford directed me to look at the Orkut Privacy Policy. He then declined my invitation.

Why? For starters, Orkut is collecting a lot more information than other social-networking services.

There is this line: “We may share both personally identifiable information about you and aggregate usage information that we collect with Google Inc. and agents of orkut in accordance to the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy”

Although Orkut does add that they do not rent or share personal information with third parties for marketing purposes without your express permission. (They can share it for non-marketing information.)

Ultimately, I didn’t think that this was a big deal — hey, it’s Google, and they’re the good guys, right?

Personally, I prefer Orkut to Friendster et. all because it is blindingly fast, like most other Google things. Why? Because they have tens of thousands (or more) servers, and they know how to make them all work together.

C|Net ran this article about some temporary problems that the social network site was having.

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