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Technology & Innovation

Google+: Privacy Is Not Dead

Responding to both its Buzz disaster and Facebook’s ongoing privacy concerns, Google+ decided to make privacy its top priority: Google has chosen to opt users out of being public. 

What’s the Latest Development?

When New York Times blogger Nick Bilton didn’t receive any comments on a recent post he made in Google+, he couldn’t understand why. Until he investigated Google+’s privacy default settings, that is. “I realized that my post had been made private by default; a Google+ user has to specifically say they want to share a post publicly. By doing this, Google has chosen to opt users out of being public, rather than the standard practice by most other services to automatically opt users in.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, has said publicly that privacy is a thing of the past. Google is disputing that claim by making many of its default settings more private than on a standard Facebook account. But is it a contradiction to automatically limit the distribution of information on a social network? Will those tired of Facebook’s privacy runaround flock to Google+ once it is open to the public? At least, says Bilton, Google is learning from its own mistakes with Google Buzz, whose privacy violations caused a stir in the Congress. 


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