I’m surprised that Google hasn’t gotten more grief for this. When Google Buzz came out, people were furious that they used gmail information to integrate with that early attempt at a social network. Well they’ve done it again and for some reason people aren’t as upset, or as aware.
I have some friends that *HATE* all social networks with a pure passion. I have been asked if I want to add their profile, which is nonexistent. Actually, now it shows “Add and invite”.
If I told them that their use of gmail is causing their name to be flashed to every person they’ve ever emailed, boy would they be furious. But they don’t know. Because this breach of privacy is happening in kind of a subtle way.
It was scary and intrusive when Google started reading our email content and spit out ads related to our personal email. But back then they had earned some degree of trust. We understood the product was top quality and we understood they needed to pay for the cool stuff somehow. We gave them a HUGE break back then.
But they no longer have that trust. We now view them as just another public company. Not a “special”, “humanitarian” company. So each time they break our trust, we should be on their ass.
If I sent a gmail 3 years ago to someone I hate, someone who stole my content and put it on his content farm, that doesn’t mean I want my name to appear in his screen on a Google platter to be added to his circle.
That is a breach of trust. Email is personal and private. Social networks should be Opt-In. I am pissed that my gmail is being used in such a cheap way.
I’m dependent on gmail. But will one day get rid of it. I can’t trust Google anymore. They are no longer my default search engine. DuckDuckGo is.
And I’m trying to use them as little as possible.
Make sure you check the comments. Gmail community manager @sarahpriceless responded. I’ll reply in the comments as well.