Sunday, July 10, 2011

Google+: Tapping The Brakes

I don't think there is anyone on earth who wants Google+ to succeed more than I do. I'm quite sick of Zuckerberg's secretive dissemination of my personal information to his advertising clients. If Google+ succeeds, it will be because they respect users' privacy in a way that seems genetically impossible for Zuckerberg. I believe that Google does want to be non-evil (which is in direct opposition to Zuckerberg's apparent and gleefully satanic "Subjugate-the-World-and-Drink-Your-Blood" business model).

I would love to abandon ZuckFace and play only on G+, but I have some concerns.

First and foremost: Who can see the content I post on Google+?

I know that, when I post on G+, I can specify a precise list of contacts with whom I want to share the content. If I +mention someone in my post, that person automatically has permission to view the content. I don't really have a problem with that. Maybe Google is thinking, if I post a statement about Paris Hilton, then Paris Hilton should have the right to see what I'm saying about her.

Where the strategy breaks down, however, is that anyone who comments on my original material and +mentions someone else effectively changes my original permission settings to include the +mentioned individual.

To boil this down: Anything you post on Google+ is potentially viewable by anyone on the web.

As fast and loose as ZuckFace plays with your privacy, you are still (as of 10:41 PM EST 2011-07-10) able to know who will see what you post. Likewise with Twitter if you've locked down your account.

I've sent feedback to Google today expressing my concerns about this matter. Until and unless they allow me to specify who sees my posts, I can't participate fully and freely in Google+.

1 comment:

  1. This just in! If, after posting, you select "Disable reshare" from the dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the post, +mentioning another user will not give them read access! Now all we need is the ability to choose "disable reshare" as a default setting. Huzzah!