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7/21/2011
03:21 PM
Steve  Krause
Steve Krause
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Google+ Headaches: What You Need to Know

BYTE’s Steve Krause tracked down Google+ pain points--so you can avoid headaches with the new social service.

Privacy is an area where Google could have really pounded on Facebook. But after I first logged in, I noticed a Google request to use some of my information to personalize content and ads on non-Google websites. Data aggregation is big business, but Google, please. Just say no!


Google's response: The Googler BYTE spoke with pointed us to a help article that sorts this out a bit. The request is all about the "+1" feature and being able to see which non-Google pages -- like BYTE, perhaps -- that your Google+ friends recommend. Here's a little more information on +1 and privacy that largely allayed our concerns. Maybe it's just a matter of making the request for permission sound a little less creepy?

Another miss: The Google+ Android app's default configuration uploads ANY photo you take with your phone to Google+. That's disturbing. And I thought these folks were short on server space!


Now, I'm okay with posting some photos to Google's cloud. But posting all my pics--even if I mark them as private--is a bizarre default. If you're using Google+ on Android, remember to disable this feature.

Google's response: Google reminded BYTE that when the Android app is installed, one of the first questions setup asks is whether or not the auto-uploading should be turned off. The company also notes that files are automatically uploaded to a private album, making it more like a cloud back-up service than a sharing feature.

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