It’s time for Google+ users to consider their privacy settings yet again. Google has come up with a new functionality that will allow mail to be sent via the social network by people who don’t otherwise have access. The new feature integrates users’ existing contacts as well as email addresses from their Google+ social network account, allowing them to send emails directly to friends, and strangers, whoever use Google+.
This is likely to push the buttons of privacy advocates, but with ample opt-out provisions, it shouldn’t ruffle any feathers for too long. In the meanwhile, Marketers are delighted. But this has raised serious privacy concerns in the eyes of users. A new feature in Google’s Gmail will result in some users receiving messages from people with whom they have not shared their email addresses, raising concerns among some privacy advocates. The change, which Google announced last week, broadens the list of contacts available to Gmail users so it includes both the email addresses of their existing contacts, as well as the names of people on the Google+ social network. As a result, a person can send an email directly to friends, and strangers, who use Google+.
Google is increasingly trying to integrate its social network, Google+, that has 540 million active users, with its other services like Gmail, When consumers sign up for Gmail, the company’s Web-based email service, they will now automatically be given a Google+ account. Some privacy advocates said Google should has upgraded the new feature “opt-in,” meaning that users should explicitly agree to receive messages from other Google+ users, rather than being required to manually change the setting.
Google said the new feature would not expose the email addresses of any Google+ users to strangers. Emails from strangers on Google+ will be routed to a special section within the recipients mailbox that is separate from messages from friends and other contacts. If the recipient does not reply to the message, Gmail will block any future messages from that person. Users will have control over how many people will be able to email them via Google+. They can extend the ability to just the people they’ve added to their Google+ circles, to those in extended circles — meaning people with whom they share a mutual connection – or to any Google+ user.