Google+ Bring Privacy Loophole

June 30th, 2011  |  Published in Internet  |  1 Comment

It is still early days for Google+ (a new social networking venture) launched by Google in competition to Facebook, but it is fast catching heat due to the privacy problems. Google+ seems to be allowing sharing of your stuff with anyone.

Google+ has introduced the concept of ‘Circle’ aka simplified Groups System, which allows for explicitly sorting out the buddy list into various circles. A Synonym like ‘Family Circle/Friend Circle’ might be the logic behind these “Circles”. So, at once a user will think that whatever’s been shared with one ‘Circle’ will not be accessed outside that. Right? But it is not quite like that.

The Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw explains how the “resharing” feature of Google+ negates this considerate privacy feature entirely:

Say a close friend of mine posts a picture of her kids to her “friends” Circle. With the “share” option on every Google+ post, I can re-share this with absolutely anyone, from another Circle to which my friend does not belong, right through to making it completely public. The same loophole applies not just to photos but to any kind of post, as far as I can tell.

If she’d known about this risk (and how would she?), my friend could have disabled resharing using the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of every post, but it doesn’t seem to be possible to do this before she’d already published it. Google+ also, for now, lacks any way to turn off resharing of all your posts from within its privacy settings.

No one would want a functionality like this to be enabled by default, so Google can take care of this with Google+.




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