Will Google+ be another mistake like Buzz

The many updates that Google is constantly rolling out for all kinds of products are viewed with maximum approval by normal users. The last update for Gmail, however, causes great displeasure. E-mails can now also be sent to Google+ users whose e-mail addresses are unknown. At the same time, Google creates a two-tier society, because while the normal user has to be active, particularly active users receive special settings.

The opposite of good is good intentions

Actually, Google wanted to make communication between users easier with the update. The company from Mountain View succeeded in doing this, but in the opinion of many users and experts, Google has overshot the target a bit. The basic idea is not bad, if you want to write an e-mail to someone who does not know their e-mail address, you can simply enter the name in the recipient field and the message will be received by the person concerned.

This is reminiscent of the Google Buzz disaster, where in the beginning the email addresses of your own contacts were open to everyone. Google has not made the same mistake again, the e-mail address will only be visible as soon as a reply comes back to the e-mail.

One of the biggest criticisms of the update, however, is that Google chose the opt-out option for the update. The user who does not want to receive e-mails from foreign or remote Google+ contacts must actively change this in the Gmail settings. The opt-in method would have been much more user-friendly here - Google will not have chosen this option for nothing, because it is doubtful that a particularly large number of Gmail users would have agreed to these changes.

High profile users are preferred

Another point that gets annoying is the fact that not all users are treated equally by Google. Anyone who is particularly active on Google+, ie a "high profile" user, receives special treatment from Google in the form of defused settings. Here the option is automatically selected that only users can send emails to you that you have sorted yourself into your own circles.

The behavior of Google in this case is incomprehensible and leads to a two-tier society among Google+ users. Google seems to be concerned about protecting the privacy of its users, but only about that of the "upper ten thousand", while normal users are completely exposed to the potential for abuse.


Image (adapted) "Google Logo in Building43" by by Robert Scoble (CC BY 2.0)


Daniel Kuhn

is a Berliner by choice and has worked from there as a tech editor since 2010. Initially, Google's Android OS was completely inoperative, but the career changer and notorious self-taught person is increasingly looking into the question of what we do with the smart mobile devices, why, and how secure our data actually is. Member of the Netzpiloten Blogger Network.


Send articles by email
Tags: gmail, google, privacy, social networks, update