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On Potential Privacy Problems With Gmail Buzz Exposing Email Contacts  (View post)

Gianni Stival [PersonRank 0]

Thursday, February 11, 2010
10 years ago5,806 views

For what I can see, Buzz does not expose Email Contacts in my profile. Only if I am logged I can see this kind of informations.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Business Insider article referenced first at
blogoscoped.com/forum/167479.h ...

Barry Hunter [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

You need to be logged in, but dont need to be a friend – so can find the contacts of anyone.

Remember the page says: "To make it easier for people to find your profile, you can customize your URL with your Google email username."

So if you know someones profile page url, you know their email.

Also how do we turn this off, I can't find any option in my profile to not expose the list?

Ian Davies [PersonRank 2]

10 years ago #

I don't see this particular aspect as a problem. Yes, your Google profile page shows the people you are following by default. And yes, the people you are following, by default, are the people you email most often. However, these people are merely suggestions presented to you the first time you open Buzz, and you can add and remove people from your list of people that you follow before the profile page is even set up. The list of people that somebody follows aren't necessarily the people that somebody emails the most, as in the very first step this list can be changed to add or remove anybody.

What I _would_ like, however, is a way of showing my content only to my approved followers, and to be able to remove my Buzz content from my Google profile page (not just my followers, but the content too). I could make my posts Private to only a group, but this is fiddly, as I would have to keep updating the group. This seems to be the best option so far, but I reckon a lot of people are posting publicly thinking it's only available to their followers, while it is in fact being posted to an indexable profile page elsewhere.

Ian Davies [PersonRank 2]

10 years ago #

Also, there seems to be no way of changing the privacy settings of posts that have already been made, which seems to me a big problem.

Richard [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Arriba hotmail

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

> there seems to be no way of changing the privacy
> settings of posts that have already been made

As an easy workaround you can delete the original post and re-post with different privacy settings.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

[put at-character here]Roger
You'd loose any comments in the process :/

Bram [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

It is even worse. I have someone who I follow (automaticly) who disabled showing her followers an people who she follows, but I can still see all the people (with a public profile) who follow her when she posts a private buzz.

Jus click on the word "Private" after the lock-icon in the top of the buzz and you'll see the followers of that contact with a public profile.

Bram [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Oh I understand now that you choose who to send your private buzz to (quiet obvious). So you have it in your own hands which contacts can see whom you also send that buzz to.

Still I don't like it that I have to make my Google profile public to be able to buzz.

Ian Davies [PersonRank 2]

10 years ago #

Actually, just what is the point in all this? If the only people I can "buzz" with are people with Gmail accounts, then wouldn't it make just as much sense to email them with Gmail's very good conversation interface, and not have all this mess of things becoming public to the whole world? I can already share Picasa and Google Reader with those people, or publicly if I want to, so other than pulling it into one place on a public profile I fail to see what Google Buzz achieves. I can't imagine most people wanting these things to become public, yet that's now become the default. I generally love Google's products, but I get the feeling this is all just a way of Google getting more indexable content to slap advertising on.

Island [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Buzz, Facebook, Twiter etc. are the dumbest "products" of this generation.

Vegetable [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

"you can turn off showing your contacts publicly in your profile settings."

The issue is that this does not seem to be true for everyone. I still do not have this option in my Google Profile Settings.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

I saw this option in my main account but also didn't see it in a side account, I wonder if that means that my side account "doesn't need that setting yet" (because Google decided not to display that profile's contacts – though what happens in the future?) or if it means something else entirely...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Ionut in Buzz writes:

<<Google Buzz made the same mistake as the initial version of Google Reader friend sharing, from 2007
googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007 ... :

"I think the basic mistake here (...) is that the people on my contact list are not necessarily my "friends". I have business contacts, school contacts, family contacts, etc., and not only do I not really have any interest in seeing all of their feed information, I don't want them seeing mine either. This is a major privacy problem." said a user at that time.>>

Kip Kniskern [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

One of the biggest problems I have with this (and there are many), is the precedent it sets for Google to a) collect information about you under a set of privacy guidelines, and then b) use that same information, without your explicit consent, under a different set of guidelines.

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Here's a statement from Google:

<< "We thought very carefully about how to create a great experience in Google Buzz with as minimal setup as possible. We designed our auto-following system to enable users to immediately see content from the people they email and chat with most, so when they start using Buzz, it "just works." If users are automatically followed to anyone they'd rather not follow, it's easy to remove these individuals during the auto-following step by clicking on the "edit" link and then clicking "unfollow" next to their names.

After that, the first time the user creates a post or comment, we ask them to create a profile, principally so they have a name to display next to their post. There's more information on why you need a profile here: mail.google.com/support/bin/an ... In this profile creation step, we inform users that the lists of people they follow and people following them will be displayed on their profile, and make it easy to view and edit these lists. We also make it possible to hide the lists of people they're following and people following them from their profile." >>

businessinsider.com/warning-go ...

ugur gundogmus [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Gmail is an email service. Period. To be honest, it was a great email service until this BUZZ nonsense.

Because of Facebook and Twitter, Google wants to make it a social networking site. This is horrible.

I used to trust Google, but I don't trust them any more. They just want to create a social networking site out of Gmail and this is evil.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Google says it want to hear our feedback:

gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/02 ...

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