Like a comet, another Google privacy scandal just smashed into the Internet. Remember Google Buzz, the company’s attempt to rival Facebook? Do you also remember how the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had a little something to say about GoogleBuzz automatically enrolling gmail customers and operating as an opt-out service instead of an opt-in service? The nation’s consumer watchdog wasn’t thrilled, to say the least.
But, apparently, the Big G may have messed up privacy wise again, because Google + — the company’s second attempt at reproducing Facebook — has its own security breach black holes.
“Compartmentalization Makes Us Better!”
When Google announced the release of Google+, “compartmentalization” was the name of the marketing game. Google hoped that “Plus” would be the social network for people who didn’t want to share everything with every acquaintance and workmate. Drawing the distinction between “family” and “friends,” Google+ lets users set up different circles.
Fine. Good. Right? Ehhh, not so fast. “Plus” had some privacy bugs, too.
Are The Google Privacy Settings For Plus Like Beacon?
Let’s say you got engaged, but you don’t want the whole world to know just yet. So, you just post the news on your “super good friends” Google+ circle. Safe, right?
The next day you receive congratulatory messages from people in your “Egh, I’ll just be friends with them online” circle.
Re-Sharing On Google +: An Online Privacy Problem?
See, there’s an option on Google+ called “re-sharing.” Which means anyone in your inner circle of friends can “re-share” the news of your engagement with people in their circles — and some of their “good friends” may be on your “hateration list.”
Unfortunately, the “re-sharing” option on Google+ is automatically turned on by default. Good times.
Right now, the only easy way to keep information of a personal nature within your inner circle of friends and family is to ban them sharing your news with anyone.
The moral of the story: Make sure your Google privacy settings are how you want them.