Google: your private profile – now public

Gmail

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Google, in an effort to get more squarely into the center of the social networking scene, is implementing a system where private profiles you may have created in Gmail will become public after July 31, or you risk account deletion. While the information on the profile that is made public will be limited initially, the effort seems to be raising the hackles of privacy pundits, who jealously guard their personal information against prying eyes of those wishing to profile them.

Hoping to backfill information into the google+ initiative, they will begin automatically including information users have already entrusted to their networks. According to the company, “The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity. Today, nearly all Google Profiles are public. We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don’t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public.” Initially, only full name and gender will be displayed.

If you choose to, you may delete your profile and it won’t become public after the 31st, according to Google. As google+ rolls out in the coming weeks, expect users to keep a keen eye on other ways to manage and restrict personal information sharing while using the service, though some early adopters will leave that up to the wisdom of Google corporate to decide. In a follow up blog, Randy Abrams will tackle the other security nuances involved in your public profile, so stay tuned, we will.

Author Cameron Camp, ESET

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