Would you like to get a random message from someone that is in one of your many Google+ circles? Nor would I but that is just what’s about to happen. A new Gmail messaging feature causes red flags about privacy concerns. Gmail users will soon be able to message anyone with a Google+ profile or Gmail account regardless of whether the recipient has shared their email address unless they opt out. Key word there is opt out. Google is pulling a Facebook move by forcing its users to hunt for through settings in order to protect their privacy.
Gmail members will see a list of their Google+ connections when they begin to type a name in the ‘To’ field of their messages, even if they do not know the email address of the person they are attempting to contact.
Google says it will make it easier for users to communicate with friends but all it really is doing is opening the door for spam and strangers to contact you.
Marc Rotenberg, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said:
The new feature is troubling and There is a strong echo of the Google Buzz snafu.
He compared it to a when Goggle Buzz (Google’s failed social network) made Gmail users contacts available publicly online. Google said that all users will be alerted to the new feature and how to change the default setting, within the next few days. Email addresses will not be visible to a Google+ connection until a user replies to that person’s initial message.