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Showing Google+ Profiles in Google Contacts is a Privacy Issue

Recently, I needed to verify someone's gmail address. I had guessed that their gmail address might be same as their Blogger URL. But I couldn't send them a mail until I was sure. Then, I remembered that gmail shows your contact's Google+ profile. I added their gmail address to my contacts and voilĂ  their Google+ profile showed up.


I later realized that this can be a privacy issue. A lot of people have their email IDs same as their Twitter or Facebook usernames or their blog addresses. Now you have a way to verify that. Even better (or worse), you can add a random gmail address to your contacts and find out to whom that address belongs.

Was this supposed to be a feature? Yes, and I actually liked having people's picture displayed along with their email address. But until they give an option to turn this "Let others find me by my email address" off, it is a privacy issue. 

5 comments:

  1. Facebook, Twitter, etc all let users upload an address book to find their friends by email address. if you don't want them tied to the same email, use different email addresses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But both Facebook and Twitter provide an option to turn this "Find by email" off.
      On Twitter, you can uncheck "Let others find me by my email address" in your account settings.
      On Facebook, you can set "Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided?" to "Friends" to disallow everyone who can't already see your email address to look you up.

      Delete
  2. Rohit, Check this chrome extension - Rapportive It's a must have if you're a Gmail user It can dig into many social profiles, including the ones mentioned by you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The option to keep your email private is already there...

    ReplyDelete