Google’s new social networking attempt Google+, which is currently in an invite-only trial period, is already having some privacy issues. You might say “it’s a social network, of course there are privacy issues” and you would be right, but you’d also be ignoring the fact that Google+ marketing tauts Google+ as not having those problems. Privacy issues do kind of come with the territory, but Google’s insistence that they don’t have to makes this all the more of a shot in the foot.
So what’s the breach? Well, as you probably know, Google+ organizes members and their connections to each other with “Circles.” This way you can post something to a specific Circle instead of the world at large. The issue seems to be that when you post something to a Circle, any receiving members can repost it with varying levels of privacy, up to and including “totally public.” Alright, so that’s a little disconcerting, but you should be able to turn reposting off, right? You can, but only after the post in question has been published — and you have to do it for each, individual post. Okay, okay, Google+ is only taking its first steps here and what new service doesn’t have issues that need to be patched up? The issue is, this crack happens to be running right down the keystone that’s holding the whole service together. Hopefully Google can respond swiftly and appropriately without jeopardizing the trust of its many potential users.
(via FT Tech Hub)