Google taking us one step closer to 1984?
On Thursday January 9, 2014, Google announced a new 'feature' that they launched soon after. It is called Reach the people you know more easiy. Some suggest it really should be called Reach the people you don't know more easily.
It affects people that are signed up with Gmail and have a Google+ profile. When a Google+ user is typing an email and begins typing in the name of the addressee, it will auto fill with suggestions of other Google+ users.
Here is the catch. It will auto populate with anyone that has a Google+ account, whether you know them or not. That makes it very easy for people you do not know to email you.
"Oh god no.. Another reason to hate Google+," wrote Jeff Roberts, a reporter for tech blog GigaOM, on Twitter. "They turned it into a stalking tool."
Google does give you some control over this, though. If you receive an unsolicited email, you can choose to block the sender or add him/her to your Google+ circles.
- To continue receiving emails from that person, reply to the email or click Add to circles.
- To block emails from that person, click the Report Spam or Abuse link in the email.
- If you ignore the email, the person won’t be able to invite you to any new conversations, but they could reply to their original message. To avoid these replies, click the Report Spam or Abuse link in the message.
Google has also added the ability to turn this feature off in settings. As with many security settings dealing with privacy, socail media companies such as Google and Facebook, tend to set these type of features on by default. It is up to the users to educate themselves and protect their privacy.
Here is a link to the settings (you must first be logged into your Google+ account).
Click image to enlarge.
Please don't hesitate to contact TechnoMinds if you need any assistance with these settings.