"Google has admitted error, but Google is far from alone in the collection, use and distribution of immense amounts of our information," Kerry said. "Every company should adhere to this kind of standard, not just Google.
Google has admitted that Buzz was beset with problems.
"The launch of Google Buzz fell short of our usual standards for transparency and user control — letting our users and Google down," Alma Whitten, its director of privacy, product and engineering, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.
The settlement "thankfully put this incident behind us," she said.
Under the terms, Google will be required to give users "clear and prominent notice" and obtain "express affirmative consent" before sharing the users' information with any third party "in connection with a change, addition or enhancement to any product or service."
"It's a broad reaching order, applicable to all their products," said Jessica Rich, deputy director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
She noted that the FTC dismissed a complaint against Google for its Street View data collection last year because there was no violation of law. If a similar incident comes up now, it could violate the settlement and allow the FTC to take action, she said.
The Google case arose from a complaint filed last year with the FTC by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
"The message to companies is they're going to have to be more careful about the collection and use of information from users," said Marc Rotenberg, EPIC's executive director.