Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Gmail Reveals the Names of All Users

samzenpus posted about 6 years ago | from the not-so-anonymous-now dept.

Google 438

ihatespam writes "Have you ever wanted to know the name of admin@gmail.com? Now you can. Through a bug in Google calendars the names of all registered Gmail accounts are now readily available. All you need to find out the names of any gmail address is a Google calendar account yourself. Depending on your view this ranges from a harmless "feature" to a rather serious privacy violation. According to some reports, spammers are already exploiting this "feature"/bug to send personalized spam messages."

cancel ×

438 comments

This only punishes the foolish (1, Insightful)

vonPoonBurGer (680105) | about 6 years ago | (#24221179)

I mean really... Does anyone with a lick of sense actually give their real name to a free web-based service?

Re:This only punishes the foolish (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | about 6 years ago | (#24221197)

This bug really doesn't affect me as my email address is my real name.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (4, Funny)

Shados (741919) | about 6 years ago | (#24221243)

ahah! But now the spammers KNOW FOR SURE that there isn't an underscore/dash/whatever between your first and last name! You're so screwed!

Re:This only punishes the foolish (0, Redundant)

Helios1182 (629010) | about 6 years ago | (#24221279)

Exactly, now they will use my real name while trying to sell me discount prescription drugs and fake Rolexes.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221293)

Gmail strips out punctuation. So email to First.Last@gmail.com goes to the same inbox as FirstLast@gmail.com

Re:This only punishes the foolish (5, Funny)

Shados (741919) | about 6 years ago | (#24221393)

Then they'll know what part is your first and last name regardless of capitalization! THIS IS HUGE!

Re:This only punishes the foolish (-1)

Victor Antolini (725710) | about 6 years ago | (#24221601)

And it will go to the owner of last@gmail.com too. There's a lot of accounts with simple names like richards@gmail.com or gonzales@gmail.com which get ALL e-mail sent to owners of a dotted mail, for example: juan.gonzales@gmail.com, john.richards@gmail.com.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (4, Insightful)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 6 years ago | (#24221705)

citation needed. seriously, what you describe would be a huge security/privacy hole, and I don't believe you.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (2, Informative)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | about 6 years ago | (#24221797)

Actually, that's inaccurate, this was debunked a while ago. I can't remember the link off the top of my head but it's not true.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (4, Informative)

Drakonik (1193977) | about 6 years ago | (#24221867)

False. For GMail, dots are invisible in regards to who receives the email. Emails sent to foobar@gmail.com and foo.bar@gmail.com and f.o.o.b.a.r@gmail.com all go to the same address. Messages sent to foo.bar@gmail.com don't go to bar@gmail.com.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (4, Informative)

Zymergy (803632) | about 6 years ago | (#24221425)

Ditto.
Since all names are really all about pretense, I set up mine on Gmail as "firstnamelastname@gmail.com" (Where 'firstname' and 'lastname' are my actual names.
I think there are only eight or ten other people in the US with my same spelled the same anyway. Regardless, I think Gmail's spam filters have only let a couple of false negatives into my Inbox.
*THIS* is why I use very different passwords for web mail as say, my banking or credit report service passwords, etc... If the password file were to be breached, I would only have one to change.
I suggest a good password management app such as this one: http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | about 6 years ago | (#24221607)

Regardless, I think Gmail's spam filters have only let a couple of false negatives into my Inbox.

at least the filtering system in gmail doesn't make type I errors - I can deal with a few type II errors.

OMG ... first names... then what? Last names? (5, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | about 6 years ago | (#24221641)

Honestly - your name isn't a secret...

and if you're trying to hide your identity and you put your real first / last name into a free service, you're a moron.

Spam doesn't worry me, it's privacy. (4, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24221739)

This goes well beyond the scope of SPAM. Once they match your real name with your e-mail, they can start finding out what you do online, what sites/forums you visit, etc (Google knows everything).

I'm much more worried about ID thieves finding out about my life than about getting personalized spam.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (4, Funny)

Nasajin (967925) | about 6 years ago | (#24221453)

What, your parents named you Quantum G?

Re:This only punishes the foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221697)

That's sure cooler than being named Ali G... Maybe that's his nerdless brother. The evil twin.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221671)

Thank God this didn't happen on /.!!
Whoever Arthur Grumbine is, he's gonna be pissed about what I've said here, masquerading as him!

Re:This only punishes the foolish (0, Offtopic)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | about 6 years ago | (#24221701)

Damn! I was supposed to be logged in for that comment :-(

Re:This only punishes the foolish (4, Funny)

thedullroar (944296) | about 6 years ago | (#24221209)

oh noes! they can figure out my real name just by using google calendar and my email address (first.last@gmail.com)!?

Re:This only punishes the foolish (5, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | about 6 years ago | (#24221215)

I mean really... Does anyone with a lick of sense actually give their real name to a free web-based service?

In short, yes. Ever since GMail was launched and people discovered that its way more convenient that Outlook/Yahoo/etc., there's been a steady conversion of addresses in my contact list to "@gmail.com". People are moving to GMail as their primary mail accounts -- I don't know if you've been listening since 1998, but "free web-based email" is now often much, much better than whatever your university/company offers.

So yeah, this is a pretty big deal -- not so much for spammers, but as a privacy violation. You can't do a name lookup for an arbitrary e-mail address, and you shouldn't be able to do it for a GMail address. Someone should get an ass-kicking for this.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (5, Funny)

nbannerman (974715) | about 6 years ago | (#24221277)

Someone should get an ass-kicking for this.

Agreed. I'll certainly be asking for my money back...

Re:This only punishes the foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221445)

Well, wait till Jonathan Lee Riches owns SCO. Google is next, unless they pay like a million trillion dollars over this!

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1)

svank (1301529) | about 6 years ago | (#24221615)

Someone should get an ass-kicking for this.

Agreed. I'll certainly be asking for my money back...

That's funny at first, but Google does make ad money off your use of Gmail (unless you don't use the web interface). Perhaps you could demand that money?

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 6 years ago | (#24221765)

Ads in gmail? [userscripts.org] Even legitimate users [gmail.com] don't have those.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (5, Funny)

RevMike (632002) | about 6 years ago | (#24221575)

So yeah, this is a pretty big deal -- not so much for spammers, but as a privacy violation. You can't do a name lookup for an arbitrary e-mail address, and you shouldn't be able to do it for a GMail address. Someone should get an ass-kicking for this.

You know what else... Someone left a thick softcover book on my doorstep the other day that listed the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone in my region. Hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions. I called the police about this, but they seemed unconcerned.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (3, Funny)

Arivia (783328) | about 6 years ago | (#24221819)

Posting to clear moderation because I was brainless and didn't get the joke.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | about 6 years ago | (#24221847)

Someone left a thick softcover book on my doorstep the other day that listed the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone in my region. Hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions.

Cute sarcasm, thanks. This, however, is more like a phonebook for cellphone numbers -- given that there's an expectation of privacy for your name when signing up for an e-mail address. I say expectation because it's almost certainly not legally covered, but still reasonable given current norms. So the GMail situation is more like AT&T revealing your full name to ANYONE if they call with your unlisted/cellphone number in hand and just say a secret word. Sure, the name/number linkage is on your business card too, but giving it out is YOUR choice and there's a reason you can't get the information by just calling AT&T (if you're not NSA,etc.).

Re:This only punishes the foolish (2, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 6 years ago | (#24221777)

there's been a steady conversion of addresses in my contact list to "@gmail.com". People are moving to GMail as their primary mail accounts

As have I - But that has no bearing on whether or not people give GMail their real names. I know I sure as hell didn't, despite using that account for a number of legitimate purposes, including professional contacts.

And as a bonus, anyone foolish enough to spam me under a name I give to a random website actually helps my spam filtering, because I never give my real name. If someone sends "Petrov L. Aster" (as just one example I might use for my Slashdot handle) a notice that he has an inheritance from a Nigerian uncle, that message doesn't even make it to my "once a month quick look through non-whitelisted garbage" folder - it meets a hard blacklist and goes straight to /dev/null.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1, Insightful)

The Ancients (626689) | about 6 years ago | (#24221225)

I mean really... Does anyone with a lick of sense actually give their real name to a free web-based service?

It's not about a 'lick of sense' as such - it's about knowledge of technology - specifically the internet, and a lack of education with regard to the internet. I know individuals with a hell of a lot of sense who would give their real names in such a situation.

Just because you and I have a reasonable working knowledge of the ins and outs of the internet, it doesn't mean everyone else does.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (5, Interesting)

Dun Malg (230075) | about 6 years ago | (#24221307)

I know individuals with a hell of a lot of sense who would give their real names in such a situation.

So? Part of the reason for that is that full names in and of themselves are not really a security risk. I walk around all day in public with an ID badge that gives my first and last name. Big deal. Our names are our public identifiers.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1)

microbee (682094) | about 6 years ago | (#24221789)

You are ignoring the SPAMMERS part.

Spams with your real names in it are much more deceiving than say "Hello, abc123".

I consider it a big privacy leak and security risk because it provides spammers a way to get MASS information easily and automatically.

No pity for the ignorant (1)

tobiah (308208) | about 6 years ago | (#24221735)

And I've little tolerance for those who cannot own their actions.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1)

poeidon1 (767457) | about 6 years ago | (#24221231)

if people can give their addresses and telephone numbers, why not names!

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 6 years ago | (#24221263)

For some unknown reason a lot of small business owners, rather than paying 5.99/month for a domain name and email, use gmail/hotmail/aol.

IMAP (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221383)

I think the reason for this is that most of the small business internet services, i.e. Verizon, Comcast, only provide POP email accounts. Gmail supports IMAP and a lot of people want to be able to use their email from multiple locations and have it sync up.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (3, Insightful)

NickCatal (865805) | about 6 years ago | (#24221391)

Why would they have such an unnecessary expense?

I have no problem giving people my gmail account address for business-type-transactions because it is a hell of a lot easier to keep track of my conversations and actually get business done using gmail. When I do need a "professional" email address I usually just have it forwarded to my gmail account, again, because it is easier to keep my life organized that way.

Not to mention how great gmail and Google Calendar Sync work on my BlackBerry.

It has really become a first-rate application suite for just about every use.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (2, Interesting)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 6 years ago | (#24221617)

Because it looks unprofessional (may be a pro or con depending on the business)
ie mike@mikesauto.com versus mike34534@hotmail.com

There is also the superficial sense of security. When I send email to Mike at his domain I'm pretty sure he is the only one reading it (although it very well could also be the isp, hosting domain, his sysadmin, and NSA). When I send email to hotmail or gmail, perhaps unfounded, I have the feeling that if they felt like it MS or google could be reading the emails and no-one would know it and/or a security breach could leak access to everyone's email.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (4, Interesting)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | about 6 years ago | (#24221401)

for a small business owner, why not. I manage a few websites. Very, very small. Less than 20 people have write access. They wanted email. some users would use outlook or outlook express, others wanted a web mail front end. The email client the hosting service had was horrible so I hooked them up with a gmail hosted services. It works very, very nicely for them.

there are some cases where Google is a good alternative to other options.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1)

drcagn (715012) | about 6 years ago | (#24221275)

I'm assuming this also works for Google Apps customers who use the Premier version.

That is a paid service.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221451)

I'm fairly certain it does. I asked a friend and confirmed that I could get his information with his work address (using google apps).

Re:This only punishes the foolish (2, Funny)

ShiNoKaze (1097629) | about 6 years ago | (#24221317)

I have that same combination on my luggage!!

Re:This only punishes the foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221367)

Almost 1/4 of the personal contacts in my Outlook account are now fname.lname@gmail.com

Re:This only punishes the foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221375)

Go one further; does anyone with a lick of WEB SAVVY give their actual private details to a giant, multi-headed search engine with a reputation for being extra nosy and attempts to cache the world?

It's great if you're looking for something, not so great if you're looking to keep online secrets.

I'll stick with my tiny, anonymized 3rd party free web based (and solar hosted) email provider, thanks.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (2, Insightful)

brainnolo (688900) | about 6 years ago | (#24221389)

Why not? I know 3 people with my same first and last name (and my name isn't very common) so I'm pretty sure that by giving my real name I'm not actually giving anything.

The email address is actually more of an identifier than your real name as 2 people cannot have the same email address.

Now, if together with the real name, one can obtain your home address, then I'd be really concerned.

Using a fake name online may become illegal... (2, Insightful)

RudeIota (1131331) | about 6 years ago | (#24221421)

I mean really... Does anyone with a lick of sense actually give their real name to a free web-based service?

I have difficulty believing the title of my reply will become true. I'd like to believe no one will ever let this happen, but here's a recent Slashdot post [slashdot.org] that raises some alarm:

"The access to MySpace was unauthorized because using a fake name violated the terms of service. The information from a "protected computer" was the profiles of other MySpace users. If this is found to be a valid interpretation of the law, it's really quite frightening. If you violate the Terms of Service of a website, you can be charged with hacking. That's an astounding concept. Does this mean that everyone who uses Bugmenot could be prosecuted? Also, this isn't a minor crime, it's a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment per count. In Drew's case she was charged with three counts for accessing MySpace on three different occasions."

Re:This only punishes the foolish (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | about 6 years ago | (#24221517)

It would take a lot of explaining to get my grandmother to understand why she's getting e-mails from some guy called Grimbleton (or any other pseudonym I use on a daily basis), signed with my name.

Re:This only punishes the foolish (3, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | about 6 years ago | (#24221661)

You mean Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, and Al Gore HAVEN'T come back from the dead and signed up for emails with Gmail thousands of times from thousands of different locations? -Registered Spammer

But now we can at least learn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221755)

Now we can learn who took our favourite login names! http://www.horribleville.com/d/20060121.html [horribleville.com]

Re:This only punishes the foolish (2, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | about 6 years ago | (#24221865)

I mean really... Does anyone with a lick of sense actually give their real name to a free web-based service?

You do realise you give LOTS of mail servers WAY more private information every time you send or RECIEVE a non-encrypted e-mail, right? Mommy wrote you saying happy birthday and signed her message with her full name? Your employer, coworker or friends ever wrote you an e-mail ? Seriously, if you worry about google knowing your full name I think you should probably panic right about now given that everybody who has ever sent you an e-mail FROM gmail has given google a hell of a lot more info about you. Heck chances are that using just data stored by google it is possible to deduce the names of the majority of your coworkers, a good portion of your friends, where you live, a good number of your interests, as well as the birthday of your uncle.

That people get worked up about things like google knowing their name tells you a whole lot about just how little they realise about what google knows.

Ouf (2, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | about 6 years ago | (#24221189)

The person(s) responsible for this bug is going to have a nice and very uncomfy meeting with their supervisor very soon...

Re:Ouf (4, Funny)

game kid (805301) | about 6 years ago | (#24221353)

...after which exercise balls (in lieu of the usual chair) will be thrown in a fit of unbridled anger (several tech websites will report a mysterious colorful stream of balls spilling out the Google offices).

Re:Ouf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221709)

It wasn't that bad. There was Rum! ;->

Ut Oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221193)

Mine is registered under IP Freely. Hope that's not a real dude somewhere.

Re:Ut Oh (2, Funny)

Lazyrust (1101059) | about 6 years ago | (#24221233)

I always wondered who registered my email address. No wonder it seemed like so many people shared my name. - I.P. Freely

Is it really that big of a deal? (4, Insightful)

i'm lost (1247580) | about 6 years ago | (#24221195)

If I was worried about privacy with my gmail account, google wouldn't have my actual name to have the ability to give it out.

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221203)

_0_
\''\
'=o='
.|!|
.| |
goatse man reveals inside of own ass [goatse.ch]

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (1, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24221281)

Rule number 1 of shock site linking, don't tell people what the link is until after they click it.

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221351)

Perhaps GP is just rick-rolling goatse fans? I sure ain't clicking to find out.

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (0, Offtopic)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24221439)

Hmmm... That could be true. I didn't click it of course....

D'Oh (5, Funny)

Atari400 (1174925) | about 6 years ago | (#24221223)

chunkylover53 is going to be most displeased.

Re:D'Oh (5, Funny)

ChowRiit (939581) | about 6 years ago | (#24221251)

Fortunately for Homer Simpson, that's @aol.com

I can't believe Google would do this! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221245)

Really, now everyone will know my name is John Smith? I am outraged and will see my lawyer immediately!

-- john.smith@gmail.com

Why would anyone give Google honest information? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221255)

With their track record of leaking information and giving it to whatever business asks them for it; why would anyone trust them with actual true information anymore?

Is This Evil? (3, Interesting)

abirdman (557790) | about 6 years ago | (#24221259)

But, does this constitute evil? So far so good. My gmail account is my real name anyway. I'll be looking out for the evil...

Re:Is This Evil? (4, Insightful)

Admodieus (918728) | about 6 years ago | (#24221341)

If this story was about a similar bug with Hotmail and Windows Live Calendar, yes it would.

Re:Is This Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221633)

Don't feed the shills.

Re:Is This Evil? (3, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | about 6 years ago | (#24221827)

No, but it constitutes a serious bug. Evil usually requires intent. Stupidity, on the other hand, can be completely unintentional.

Head in the clouds (5, Insightful)

gamanimatron (1327245) | about 6 years ago | (#24221283)

This is exactly why I remain leery of applications in the cloud. I've got a google account for work, and that's the only use it ever sees. And it's under real.name.company anyway, and has no other useful information associated with it.

I try really, really hard not to leave to broad a trail online. Those databases just never die (except when they do, of course - but the timing is subject to Murphy's Law, so it's never in my favor).

I'm gonna go hide in my cave now.

Re:Head in the clouds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221525)

This is exactly why I remain leery of applications in the cloud. I've got a google account for work, and that's the only use it ever sees. And it's under real.name.company anyway, and has no other useful information associated with it.

Except for the cookie that you carry around for the rest of your browser session which associates that account with everything else that you do (through searches or AdSense).

Re:Head in the clouds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221831)

Where I work the company emails use lastname.firstname@company.com
I prefer to not use my real name and fortunately enough when I gave them a nickname (other known aliases field) when i applied they mistook it for my real name (in fact they thought it was part of my last name) so I'm one of few that has a falsely named email address.

Just how personal is this new spam (4, Funny)

Pollardito (781263) | about 6 years ago | (#24221349)

Does this mean they're only sending spam to people who really need Cialis?

Re:Just how personal is this new spam (5, Insightful)

LoonyMike (917095) | about 6 years ago | (#24221513)

Not yet but soon, just wait for the medical data to be compromised in a similar way.

Re:Just how personal is this new spam (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 6 years ago | (#24221781)

Penis enlargement? Mortgage re-fi? V!@gra? I always wondered.... HOW'D IT KNOW?!

Oh noes! (0, Redundant)

Taibhsear (1286214) | about 6 years ago | (#24221355)

Now everyone will know my name is Bob Lablaw!
Seriously, anyone that puts in their real name on a remotely accessible non-business account has some neurons not firing properly...

No problems here. (1)

phxhawke (35260) | about 6 years ago | (#24221357)

It doesn't give names for emails that I put in unless I've received one already. Maybe it's already been fixed or has a limited scope?

I don't mind (1)

shaunol (1313685) | about 6 years ago | (#24221361)

My gmail email address is about as cryptic as my slashdot username.

Oh that tears it. (4, Funny)

aztektum (170569) | about 6 years ago | (#24221407)

This is horrible. This is an outrage! I'm writing Google a letter telling them how awful this is an how they need to work on the Q/A. I mean my GMail address *IS* my full name, but I'm not going to let that fact stop me from acting like an emotionally charged idiot!

Re:Oh that tears it. (1)

FilterMapReduce (1296509) | about 6 years ago | (#24221673)

I'm writing Google a letter telling them how awful this is an how they need to work on the Q/A.

Don't forget to sign it.

Security Bugs in Beta Software (1)

Knowzy (950793) | about 6 years ago | (#24221411)

Google's practice of leaving software in beta for years gives them an excuse if you lose your data, etc when the software fails. However, revealing the names millions of (GMail) users who weren't even using the application (Calendar) with the security flaw sounds like a nightmare for Google.

Good thing GMail is still in beta too after, what, 4 years?

But My Full Name.. (0, Redundant)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 6 years ago | (#24221459)

..is already in the email address.

anonymous.coward@gmail.com (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221487)

Now everyone knows that my first name is Anonymous and my last name is Coward. I'm screwed. The Church of Scientology will finally find me.

Just last week at work... (2, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | about 6 years ago | (#24221519)

I was called a heretic for suggesting that "Google does not know all..."

Guess I owe some folks an apology...

Really, did anyone not see this coming? The company advertised that they read your email.

Re:Just last week at work... (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24221605)

This looks like they were sloppy, but for the 1/2 of slashdot that apparently uses their full name as their email address, the immediate consequences are nil.

Moron bug (2, Informative)

Anti Globalism (1179429) | about 6 years ago | (#24221531)

This seems to be rather a moron bug than anything else. They can have my fake alias name. What I worry about is rather how they treat the content of what's being sent and received.

Getting them already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221533)

I started getting these spams today with my actual name. Very annoying since it made me give a second look. I dunno why I even gave my real name for a spam/junk e-mail account. I won't do it again.

Bugs are to be expected... (5, Funny)

elnico (1290430) | about 6 years ago | (#24221551)

It's a good thing they caught this in beta, before it affects a large number of people!

Fix it? (2, Interesting)

xpro42 (1234496) | about 6 years ago | (#24221553)

It's just a minor bug. I'm sure Google will fix it pretty soon (then again I could be wrong). They probably don't want to lose users due to privacy concerns. Overall I'm not worried about this, and I say that as a gmail user who used their real name to create the account.

The *real* security risk... (3, Interesting)

Peet42 (904274) | about 6 years ago | (#24221577)

...is that this will allow Phishing scams aimed at GMail users to *seem* so much more plausible.

What? You expected humour?

This ain't no big deal. (2, Insightful)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | about 6 years ago | (#24221581)

Given that my Gmail email address is my real first and last name, separated by a period, I don't think it's a big deal that my real name will be revealed through the calendar. I don't care. There are a million of me out there anyway. I've Googled my own name before and found that I'm several professors, an artist, a few musicians, a business owner or two, and a bunch of other things. I didn't find myself in there even after wading through about 300 results. So this ain't an issue. But if your name is Rumpelstiltskin DiScrewdio, then you're screwed because there's only one of you out there.

Free Publicity vs Privacy (1)

tobiah (308208) | about 6 years ago | (#24221589)

I don't get the big deal about contact information privacy. Most of the time I'm trying publicize that information, both for business and social purposes. I figure if I ever get famous enough to not handle the attention, I'll be able to afford a personal secretary.
I want businesses to try and sell me things I want, when I want it. When I'm looking for work, it should come to me. Legislators should just read my mind and enact the laws I support. I'm happy for the world to track my movements and hustle to give me what I want before I know I want it.

Serious FERPA Violation (5, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | about 6 years ago | (#24221597)

The Families Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 allows a student at a university to require the university to not release their name to anyone. For example, if you check for my name at my school's phonebook, you'll find I'm not listed. If you call my registrar's office and ask for information on me, they'll tell you that they don't have a student by my name. You see, it's against the law for them to even confirm that I'm a student.

Since many schools have outsourced their email systems to Gmail, anyone can generate a full roster of student names through this trick. This could obviously result in many violations of FERPA.

Re:Serious FERPA Violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221761)

I would have thought that was a problem for the University, not Google...

Testing this (2, Funny)

LM741N (258038) | about 6 years ago | (#24221599)

So how do I go about testing this on myself? (as 100 posts reply with my real name.... Scrooge McDuck)

Privacy... (5, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | about 6 years ago | (#24221611)

Ok...so I only see this as an issue for people trying to hide their identity for something nefarious. I mean christ, I give out my full name a dozen times a day to people I don't know. "Hello, we have a circuit down and need to open a ticket." "Hello, I have a few questions about your product." and damned near every other statement you might make when calling another company is almost IMMEDIATELY followed by "Can I have your name please?" Of course this is after they answer the phone "Hello, my name is..."? Now granted they don't always use their last name if they are just phone jockeys, but almost anyone worth anything in terms of sales/technical/etc reps will give you their full name, email address, phone number, etc.

In other news, purchasing cigarettes and alcohol require you to disclose your first and last name when you show your ID! Even worse, there are rumors that every time you make a purchase using anything other than cash you have to disclose your first and last name. This isn't a privacy issue, maybe a privacy irritation, but certainly not anything to get in a ruffle about. It isn't like names are even really unique identifiers. Now if it revealed birthdays or SSNs or credit card numbers or something then I would understand.

Course, maybe there is something here I am ignoring. Do the people getting in a ruffle about this freak out when someone of the opposite sex asks their name? "Oh my god they are trying to invade my privacy!" Generally it is considered "normal" to give them your name so they have something to call you other than "freak" or "uberhax4234".

Re:Privacy... (1)

pla (258480) | about 6 years ago | (#24221849)

Ok...so I only see this as an issue for people trying to hide their identity for something nefarious.

So then, do you prefer we call you "db", or "Mr. 32"?

Keep kissing Google's ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221699)

I bet we'd see a totally different reaction if it was hotmail. you suck.

Don't tell me I'm the first one to try it! Please! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24221751)

Don't tell me that I'm the first person on ./ to know that the REAL NAME of admin@gmail.com is "smart ass"!

And to think I'm only posting as A.C.! Oh the shame!

it's BETA (1)

passthesalt (1261714) | about 6 years ago | (#24221833)

Perhaps Google should give top billing to the word "Beta" in the Gmail logo. It may deter people who will expect too much. It's free. It's in a testing phase (4 years so far). Quit bitching.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...