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Google Deleting Private Profiles

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the out-of-the-shadows dept.

Google 312

An anonymous reader writes "Google announced that it will no longer support private Google Profiles after July 31. The move comes as Google is rolling out its latest social experiment, Google+. Those who have already been admitted to Google+ will see their Google+ profiles replace their Google Profiles. At the moment the only information Google requires users to reveal is their name and gender."

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Google+ (2, Interesting)

cgeys (2240696) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680466)

Google+ is even worse than Facebook on this regard. When you join Google+, your profile is already public to the whole internet and search engines. And because it's Google, they have already indexed it by then. There is no way to set it private before it's already public. Now they also want that people really make everything public in their search engine. Of course it makes business sense for Google, but is not good for users that want privacy. Google even uses good marketing language to soften the user. Such stuff never says "Yes", but it reads "oh that's okay". Dirty tricks.

Poor Liddle Microsoft Troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680486)

Sitting day and night spamming Slashdot and no one is falling for the garbage you spew.

Re:Poor Liddle Microsoft Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680498)

I dont know, he's kinda right. When I had to create a google acc to use youtube, I had the same idea about Google back then. They will identify me with my modem only a few years later... I dont like this connected account things on the net. Personally.

Re:Poor Liddle Microsoft Troll (3, Insightful)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680798)

As a parent trying to guard the safety of my children online, I can't allow them to have these accounts, for the exact reason cgeys points out. It's sad, because here's this wonderful tool, that I have to treat like a gun in the house.

- Dan.

Re:Poor Liddle Microsoft Troll (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680906)

If that's a problem for you, here's a tip: DON'T USE YOUR REAL DATA.

People could not care less if your children are named Mr. and Ms. Herp Derp.

Re:Poor Liddle Microsoft Troll (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681170)

My name is Mr. Herp Derp, you insensitive clod!

Re:Poor Liddle Microsoft Troll (4, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680984)

I agree.

My wife and I are about to have our first child and I've had to ask my friends and family not to post pictures of it on facebook. I want my child to have the choice to develop their own online identity and not have to worry that some day when they go to find employment some HR jackass isn't going to google them and use what other people have posted against them.

The responses I get when asking people not to post pictures of my kid online are ridiculous. Everything from "Oh, you're just paranoid" to "Well, I'm going to anyway.". It's pretty sad when a parent can't make a decision to protect their own child without their own parents giving them a hard time.

The other issue is that when kids are young they don't think/realize that when they post pictures of them and their friends drinking under age, smoking pot or other illegal activities it's out there and anyone can find it. All it takes is for them to just be caught/tagged in a picture with others doing it and they're up the creek.

Re:Poor Liddle Microsoft Troll (2)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681064)

You're spot on, but for a different reason. HR isn't going to care about baby years, but Hospitals have security measures because they are great places to find and steal babies.

Most all recent smart phones and some newer digital cameras will store coordinates in in the jpeg exif data ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geotagging [wikipedia.org] )

You can post edited photos with the exif data removed, but I would check your own facebook pages for information that might link to you to a specific region within a big city. Examples would be liking a local establishment like a bagel shop or pub or library. Any singular public place. Check the facebook pages of friends and family, do they mention street names or names of schools or school team names? Scouts? Church? how about that resume you might have online? I bet it has your phone number and address right on it.

Just because one might be paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. When people roll their eyes at you, tell them only the paranoid survive. What if you *didn't* take every conceivable precaution and something *did* happen? How would you feel then?

- Dan.

Re:Poor Liddle Microsoft Troll (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680890)

Read their privacy statement, because you sound like an idiot, they dont keep ip addresses for years on end. You alos dont have a profile just from having a Youtube account. It's sad how many idiot slashdotters fall for this MS/Facebook Privacy FUD. http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/12/facebook-admits-hiring-pr-firm-to-smear-google/ [engadget.com]

Re:Poor Liddle Microsoft Troll (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681024)

I dont know, he's kinda right.

But mostly wrong; it's a classic troll which successfully got modded up. See, for example this post [slashdot.org] for a quick explanation of why it's wrong. Or you could just check your account settings [google.com] which include the option "no public profile".

When I had to create a google acc to use youtube, I had the same idea about Google back then. They will identify me with my modem only a few years later... I dont like this connected account things on the net. Personally.

Google's privacy statement [google.com] says you can access and control (even delete) any detail you don't want them to have, except stuff they are legally required to retain. However, I do agree on the dislike for connectedness of personal data. One solution is DON'T SIGN UP! Another solution is to use fake data (as in my several abandoned Facebook accounts).

Mod parent up, cgeys is a paid Astroturfer. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680938)

Mod parent up, cgeys is a paid Astroturfer. Read his comment history 90% have a vague pro MS or pro facebook remark in them. Several stories always get submitted like this with vague unsubstatiated "Google is the privacy devil" themes and out com one of the 2m+ UIDs like him to post the first comment. dave420, x**xy**y and all the rest.

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/05/12/138229/Facebook-Admits-Hiring-PR-Firm-To-Smear-Google [slashdot.org]

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/facebook-admits-to-hiring-pr-firm-for-google-smear-campaign/48650 [zdnet.com]

Re:Google+ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680610)

I've been trying out the new profile, and it seems like me that you atomically decide what to share and what not. The options are: anyone on the web, extended circles, your circles, only you, and custom. With custom being able to select which circles can see which information.
Other than that, there is also a "help others find me in search results" opt-in; I suppose this is what you're looking for.

Re:Google+ (0)

makomk (752139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680630)

Errrm... this is less informatiopn than Facebook require you to make public and indexable by search engines, from what I recall.

Re:Google+ (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680634)

If your Google profile was ALREADY public, that's true. If your Google profile was private (as you would expect from those who care about privacy issues) your are prompted and asked if you want it to become public in order to join Google+. If by the end of this month you do not make it public it will just be deleted, not automatically disclosed. The only mandatory information in the public profile is name and age.

Re:Google+ (3, Funny)

gsslay (807818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681122)

The only mandatory information in the public profile is name and age

Thereby ensuring that a large percentage of sign ups lie about one, or both.

Re:Google+ (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680636)

Well just don't use it.

I don't use facebook, nor linkedin, nor google, I will not use google+.

I feel very good, have friends, work, hobbies and interest, and don't waste time on social networks trying to find new friends while leaving behind the old real ones.

Social networks are just a fraud.

Re:Google+ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680768)

Good Christ, this is modded "Insightful"? It's just more of the same "Look at me! I'm so *ALTERNATIVE*" bollocks people spew across the internet. You don't use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or Google+ and declare you've got friends, work, hobbies and interest(s)? Good for you! Why the fuck would you think we give a toss? Quit propping up your ego, you useless fat fuck.

Re:Google+ (1)

atomicbutterfly (1979388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681240)

Agreed. There are plenty of legitimately beneficial uses for Facebook, but Slashdot folks are naturally drawn to the anti-social because of our lifestyle and group culture, and so they don't bother thinking that maybe, just maybe, social networking can be rather useful.

Use the name Bull Shit. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680818)

And call it a polite proper profile.

Re:Google+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681026)

"don't waste time on social networks trying to find new friends while leaving behind the old real ones"

Right... So you or your friends aren't succesfully using new methods of communication. That's fine, it's not like everyone should be using every form of communication. Calling social networks a fraud because of that is plain stupidity and inability to accept any different ways of communicating as "proper comminucation". Do you use email? mailing lists? phone? Where is the line of fraud drawn?

The above comes from someone who doesn't really use FB much, but can still see how ground breaking it has been for others (mostly in another generation).

Google assists stalkers and private investigators (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680808)

should be the title of the article. And the question is why? Why empower hacker groups like Anonymous?

And what about that crazy ex? Now they can find you again and reconnect, and I'm sure you'll love them for it.

Re:Google+ (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681210)

google is worse than facebook? have you ever seen what facebook does with your data even when you delete your profile?

nice though, we love the whole "GOOGLE IS EVIL" line. keep trottin out the lies all you want.

Re:Google+ (1)

web tasarm (2350880) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681250)

the portals and specially google is forcing the web site owners to add many diffrent apps,buttons etc.one day will come we will just see those buttons on the page openning.I tried to add many things for getting more traffic.More traffic? I thing this is alie and only helps to get traffic to those sites not mine...

Consciously opt out? (4, Interesting)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680472)

I never had a Google Profile and opted out of Buzz as soon as I could.

How do I opt out of Google+?

What even was Google Profile?

Re:Consciously opt out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680492)

What even was Google Profile?

It's like they're taunting you to read the article just to find out. Apparently if you put info into a Google profile and someone searched for your name, a link to the profile would appear in the search results. Presumably there must be some safeguards against abuse because that sounds quite exploitable.

Re:Consciously opt out? (1)

geekprime (969454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680628)

Using your real identity anywhere on the internet for any reason is just begging for complications.

Frankly, I think it's stupid, I've never done it and I won't ever do it. hell, I don't even associate my profiles between the different websites I visit
digg dosen't need to know that i'm bob on slashdot and ralph on stumble and neither does any other site.
If I want a friend to know I tell them myself

Re:Consciously opt out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680782)

What have you got to hide, citizen?

Re:Consciously opt out? (2)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681134)

I'm not a citizen of the nation of Greater Google, even though I'm a frequent visitor.

Re:Consciously opt out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680638)

Presumably there must be some safeguards

Never presume anything

Re:Consciously opt out? (0)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680502)

Time to stop using Google and their services altogether.

Re:Consciously opt out? (2, Funny)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680722)

You do that - let us know how it goes.

Re:Consciously opt out? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680764)

You do that - let us know how it goes.

if you can still find him around... chances without google, he'll may be nowhere to be found ;)

Re:Consciously opt out? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681042)

Works okay for me. I've not used any Google services for a while. It's not like they offer anything that is so compelling that you lose out massively by opting for one of their competitors' products.

Re:Consciously opt out? (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680778)

Apart from the search engine and maps, Google has no essential services, so it's possible. However, I tried to get rid of their search engine by using duck and bing, but find myself to often switch back to google search. At least for the mostly academic search terms for papers etc. they still seem to have the best search results. I ended up by switching constantly between scroogle, google, bing, and other search engines. As for maps, I use them very rarely and for the purposes I use them (walking to conference venues) Google map printouts are very bad. I'm sure there are better maps available on the Net.

In a nutshell, abandoning Google is easy only as long as you can life with inferior search results.

Re:Consciously opt out? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681050)

At least for the mostly academic search terms for papers etc. they still seem to have the best search results.

I never found Google Scholar to be as good as CiteSeer for academic work - especially since Google Scholar rarely gave enough information to cite properly and often linked to paywall sites rather than to the freely downloadable preprint that most academics put on their own sites.

Re:Consciously opt out? (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680974)

This is what I do.

Buy webhosting with some company.
Set up a personal domain email address.
Use the email hosting with your personal domain.

Use IMAP to access your email and use POP to remove it from the server. This is what I do.

Keep your email on your own domain and it won't matter which email host you use.

Re:Consciously opt out? (2)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681228)

What would you suggest as a better free replacement? It doesn't even have to be free, cheap is enough, as long as it does not involve me giving them my credit card details.

This is serious question. And no, I don't want to take personal responsibility of keeping my own personal web mail service secure and up to date, so any suggestion must not include continuous administration of a server connected to the Internet.

Re:Consciously opt out? (1)

wdsci (1204512) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680516)

Presumably you opt out of Google+ by not opting into it - just don't sign up.

Re:Consciously opt out? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680536)

That's certainly true while it's in beta right now, but I think his concern (and mine as well) is, what happens when Google+ goes public? Will all Google accounts automatically be converted over to + accounts, even if you don't want them to?

I'd like to see if Google has the balls to even answer that question.

Re:Consciously opt out? (2)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680602)

It really wouldn't surprise me if they made empty 'profile stubs' for everyone who hasn't joined. Perhaps with a button labelled 'Add my detail!' They really want to make inroads against Facebook. The Buzz fiasco won't stop them, they may be more cautious but they are getting desparate.

Re:Consciously opt out? (1)

Chris Down (2350174) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680606)

With a motto that reads "don't be evil" (perhaps with an appended "unless it's profitable"), perhaps the better method is to discern what you actually want to get from having a Google account.

Considering Google's primary source of revenue is advertisement -- the dissemination of data -- it doesn't take much foresight to see that vast swathes of user data is also a valuable commodity that could become a tangible profit for them.

Re:Consciously opt out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681216)

This seems so irrational an existential to me. Even with Buzz, you had to actually "buzz"something before they messed up with privacy. This is about as likely as ISPs suddenly deciding to post everyone's real name with their IP.

Re:Consciously opt out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680598)

Nah, they are making it so that you are either public on Google+, or not at all. So you can just stick with not at all.

Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680554)

Why does Google force people to be truthful about themselves while they filter and censor search results as they (or other big companies) see fit. There should be another search engine that doesn't do that by now anyway.

Re:Privacy (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680852)

they filter and censor search results as they (or other big companies) see fit

Please elaborate on this...

Because I think even the CEO couldn't get Google to remove results [businessinsider.com] .

Departing Google CEO Eric Schmidt was known for some of his bumbling public statements -- like saying that privacy didn't matter -- but apparently he made some internal blunders as well.

One of the biggest: asking Google's search team to remove information about a political donation from its search results.
According to a new book about Google by Steven Levy, Schmidt's request was shot down by Google exec Sheryl Sandberg, who is now COO of Facebook. The book was reviewed this morning by the New York Times, which got an advance copy.

The fact he would make such a request at all is pretty amazing -- especially since Google's lawyers have said that the company never promotes or eliminates particular sites from search results, even when trying to fight spam. Earlier this month, Google engineer Matt Cutts contradicted this stance, basically admitting that Google can use "whitelists" to exclude certain sites from changes to the algorithm.

But hey, it is their search engine and all.

Re:Privacy (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681242)

>> they filter and censor search results as they (or other big companies) see fit...

Please elaborate on this...

Search for the name of the maid in the DSK rape case.. The CIA doesn't have this kind of security

Re:Privacy (2)

MurukeshM (1901690) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680952)

Who said anything about truth? You don't even have to use your own name. What Google is doing here is this:
a) Way before Google+, Google allowed you to create a Profile, and mark it as Public or Private.
b) Private profiles couldn't be seen, and didn't show up in search results. (I had one.)
c) It was as if the Private profiles didn't exist at all, except to their owners.
d) Google sees this as a waste, and decides to delete this waste of space. Unless, of course, you chose to use the profile and make it visible to others.
I don't see what this has to do with Privacy. Google is deleting the private profiles, not making them public. If you want to Google-bash, I saw an article about bugs in Google+ somewhere today. Do use that. :)

Webmail alternative? (0, Offtopic)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680572)

somewhat OT, but can anyone recommend a good webmail provider whose business is not selling and analyzing our private communication, but providing a good webmail client? I don't mind paying, my privacy is worth it.

Re:Webmail alternative? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680620)

somewhat OT, but can anyone recommend a good webmail provider whose business is not selling and analyzing our private communication, but providing a good webmail client? I don't mind paying, my privacy is worth it.

Google does not sell information and only lets programs(never people) analyse your messages (acc to Google's p.p. )

i believe the advertising analyzes is disabled on non-free corp accounts

and btw any anti spam filter analyzes your messages and any mail provider can read your mail

if you want privacy, then build your own (fire-)wall and setup a mail server behind this.

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680690)

"My privacy is *very* important to me. Who wants to look after my email?"

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680916)

"My privacy is *very* important to me. Who wants to look after my email?"

I don't want anyone to "look after my email", I simply want someone to provide transport, storage and protocols / user interface required for me to access it, without any privacy implications that are not mandated by that service. If you think that a business would be unable to provide this without stealing/exploiting private information, you're overly paranoid and should have grave concerns when seeing a doctor, or talking to a lawyer.

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681282)

I don't want anyone to "look after my email", I simply want someone to provide transport, storage and protocols / user interface required for me to access it, without any privacy implications that are not mandated by that service. If you think that a business would be unable to provide this without stealing/exploiting private information, you're overly paranoid and should have grave concerns when seeing a doctor, or talking to a lawyer.

National Security Letter [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680720)

analyzed -> advert shown -> action -> people have actual data that you were shown the advert and that you bought something via a link that came from the advert. who do you think codes programs if not people? google analytics is the biggest slowdown of the web in 2011 by the way - and if google doesn't get a clue soon they'll start having an exodus out of their stuff. I'd much much rather have blanket sponsors on things like email(think a big coca-cola banner thats shown to everyone on the service, not analyzing first if the user likes coke or pepsi and then showing the banner they "want").

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680652)

I assume your ISP will have email accounts included in the cost and i have yet to find one without web mail access.

If you pay enough you can even get your own domain name from a lot of places i expect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_webmail_providers [wikipedia.org]

You don’t need ads when you are getting five dollars or even a lot less a month for doing practically nothing.

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680656)

please try www.me.com if you like. at least the privacy is still intact though I would not be biased on the features that you wish vs what are provided.

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680712)

Buy your own domain and server. It's dirt-cheap nowadays and you can use it for lots of other things too.

Seriously, if you don't want other people able to read your emails without your knowledge the only way is to run your own domain and MX server (however even that is subject to the terms of your agreement with your upstream provider and host - probably only co-lo's would give you a guarantee that they're not just browsing through your server's disks, but you can't practically "force" SMTP encryption for people trying to deliver mail to you).

VPS are dirt-cheap nowadays and can be stupidly easy to setup and have things like SquirrelMail running. Securing them is pretty easy (block all access to webmail/pop3/imap except from your personal static IP address, or even a local address and then VPN in to do those things, and leave only the SMTP ports open to the world).

Email is an inherently insecure, readable, open format. If you want guarantees about who's storing / reading / analysing that data, you want to cut out as many middle-men as possible. Or you could just get a life and not plug in real information into your Google profile...

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680802)

VPS are dirt-cheap nowadays and can be stupidly easy to setup and have things like SquirrelMail running.

You need a decent amount of knowledge to set that up secure and reliably. If you can, it's very nice though; like being able to "create" addresses on the fly for every site you use. Here's a great tutorial if you want to consider it: http://workaround.org/ispmail (although it might be overkill, I love the flexibility you get with this setup)

A less involved alternative would be a domain with email services from a hosting provider. Most web space, VPS, etc. providers also offer mail services. Granted, you don't really know what they're doing with your mail but then again, you're not exactly sure who accesses your VPS either.

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681088)

You need a decent amount of knowledge to set that up secure and reliably.

My VPS host provides a few stock installs (I got a custom FreeBSD install, because it wasn't one of their defaults, although NetBSD is). The list includes a load of TurnKey Linux [wikimedia.org] installs. If you just want email, you can buy a cheap account, pick their webmail appliance from the list, and it's up and running almost immediately. You just need to point your DNS at it (most VPS hosts will also sell you a domain and do that bit for you).

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680844)

Buy your own domain and server. It's dirt-cheap nowadays and you can use it for lots of other things too.

I would as a last resort, but I'd rather pay someone to look after it for security fixes, upgrades, spam filter configuration etc. than do everything on my own. Surely there must be providers that have a strict policy regarding privacy / personal information and that can be trusted to stick to it and not consider it something temporary until not sticking to it is profitable enough?

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681244)

I have a domain at 1&1.com and just use it for email. It's $60 a year for everything (1 domain name, web hosting, POP mail, and webmail). I've been there about 5 years now and it's always been great.

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

Bronster (13157) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681054)

Honestly, running an email server sucks. Unless you WANT to learn about it, it's something that's a lot better outsourced to someone who can deal with keeping spam filter rules up to date, dealing with mail floods, securing everything.

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680736)

somewhat OT, but can anyone recommend a good webmail provider whose business is not selling and analyzing our private communication, but providing a good webmail client? I don't mind paying, my privacy is worth it.

Yourself.

I'm sure there are some good small companies providing just that service and perhaps people can name a few. Unfortunately, as they grow they tend to look for more revenue streams and return on investment. With all the best intentions in the world you slowly get turned into a product.

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680870)

Completely OT, and totally trollish to say the least. Even Bing doesn't show any results to back up such a claim.

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680880)

Tuffmail or FastMail are well-respected.

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680928)

runbox.com is a very good norwegian provider. Norway privacy laws are rather good too! Other than that you could look into hushmail.

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

Bronster (13157) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681044)

There are a bunch of choices out there actually. I work for one of them (FastMail, now owned by Opera)

We also provide excellent standards compliance and some pretty good power-user features.

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681146)

There are a bunch of choices out there actually. I work for one of them (FastMail, now owned by Opera)

We also provide excellent standards compliance and some pretty good power-user features.

I've been a FastMail user for years. It's cheap, insanely reliable, more secure than anything else I've found, and has very responsive support. An hour after any problem occurs, they put up a blog post describing exactly what broke and what they're changing so it doesn't happen again. The web interface isn't quite as shiny as Google's, but it's way ahead of Squirrelmail, Outlook WA, etc. and is quite a bit faster than any of the above when you're on a high-latency connection.
(Posting AC because I simply never get around to signing up for a real /. account.)

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681048)

fastmail

Re:Webmail alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681156)

try fastmail.fm
rock solid, imap with ssl,decent speed

Re:Webmail alternative? (1)

azoblue (842509) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681266)

Try Lavabit. Their privacy policy appears pretty solid.

Removing private account info? (1)

garatheus (993376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680586)

I got an invite into Google+, was on for a very short time (around 10 minutes I would guess), in which I already had several people "pre-add" me to their lists - for a brand new account (so how exactly have these relationships been formed, or is this some Buzz "feature" where certain people are automatically just linked to my Google+ account?)

I searched around for the privacy settings and was able to (A) first find a location that would remove ALL my Google accounts (but I still use Gmail, so that's not an option), and (B) something that would remove all public account information (and hopefully close the Google+ account). Which it appears to have done.

Didn't really see the need for the service, and my Google Accounts (https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount) seems to indicate that: "You don't yet have a public profile. Learn more
Create a profile or edit your personal info without creating a public profile."

So what does this really mean for me? They're going to be deleting what, exactly?

Re:Removing private account info? (2)

moronoxyd (1000371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680622)

I got an invite into Google+, was on for a very short time (around 10 minutes I would guess), in which I already had several people "pre-add" me to their lists - for a brand new account (so how exactly have these relationships been formed, or is this some Buzz "feature" where certain people are automatically just linked to my Google+ account?)

Those people added your email address to one of their circles. The moment you signed on that was converted to your Google+ account.

Re:Removing private account info? (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680876)

They are deleting nothing, it doesn't apply to you - and probably most people here. It's hardly even news at all to be honest.

Re:Removing private account info? (3, Informative)

crimperman (225941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681178)

I got an invite into Google+, was on for a very short time (around 10 minutes I would guess), in which I already had several people "pre-add" me to their lists - for a brand new account (so how exactly have these relationships been formed, or is this some Buzz "feature" where certain people are automatically just linked to my Google+ account?)

It's probably worth pointing out that somebody "adding you" in Google+ is not the same as in Facebook or Twitter. Adding somebody to one of your circles in Google+ means you can post stuff TOWARDS them but it does not mean you can see anything of theirs other than their public profile. It's one way only unless they add you to their circle too and even then something you post to a circle I am in won't appear on my default stream. It appears on my incoming stream and I can then choose whether to include things from your circle in my default stream. Also with every post you can choose who (in terms of circles or individuals) gets to see it or not.

It's not perfect and could possibly still be open to abuse by marketeers but they seem to have made a better stab at it that Facebook

Google are evil bastards of the 21st century (0)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680618)

Privacy is disappearing before our eyes. Soon it will be illegal to just log onto the internet anonymously for fear that we may be terrorists or criminals. We'll have to enter our biometrics and submit a blood sample just to get an account! I admit that I use Gmail as it has been very convenient over the years, but I really need to reevaluate convenience for loss of privacy. Maybe I'll just have to migrate all my communications onto my own personal server/domain. That seems like the only recourse.

Re:Google are evil bastards of the 21st century (2)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680882)

You provide a well connected, sane and non-paranoid point of view. You are clearly helping the real debate going on about privacy.

Re:Google are evil bastards of the 21st century (1)

horza (87255) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680898)

Or you could not put your real information in?

Phillip.

Re:Google are evil bastards of the 21st century (1)

ch0rlt0n (1515291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681136)

Or you could not put your real information in?

Phillip.

Hi Steve!

...please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680624)

Come on, you can't be serious, what is the DRAMA with this? What is the terrible thing that Google has done?
Please for God sake, everyone has its own likes and +1's, don't come here as if you were discussing your favorite football team...
This isn't even nothing!

Paranoia much? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680650)

Unlike some of the comments here state, Google+ does *not* make all of your stuff public the second you enter it. For each field that you fill in there is a box that states (initially) "Everyone on the web", once you've filled in the field you get the chance to chance every bit of profile information and decide exactly who it goes to. With your real name for example you can choose to share it with everyone, only people in your circles, people in extended circles (friends of friends), with a specific circle i.e. family only or work colleagues only or you can choose to keep it completely private, or you can just not fill it in. As stated in TFA there are only 2 pieces of info you are *required* to give. If you're that paranoid you can make your nickname public or just to IRC friends for example so you know they'll get a piece of info that they can identify you by but not the rest of it.

It's really a great system in my opinion, I love the flexibility and fine-grained settings, miles better than Facebook.

Also for the record this: "When you join Google+, your profile is already public to the whole internet and search engines. And because it's Google, they have already indexed it by then. There is no way to set it private before it's already public." is complete crap as the settings I mentioned above are applied before you even hit the "Save changes" button on the profile page.

At least take the time to learn about the thing you're publicly slating, though this is slashdot so I guess you can't expect any actual facts here anymore.

Re:Paranoia much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680756)

true.

there were 2 things that are always public, if i remember correctly, i believe name and gender?

ok, its too bad that their default setting seems to be "the whole internet" but thats about the same thing with facebook. so i guess they are as bad or slightly better. i think facebook also requires more info from you before you can even make an account, not?

Re:Paranoia much? (4, Informative)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680914)

It's as bad as people saying they don't want to use Facebook because, gasp, "they" will learn about you. I worked as a marketing database analyst - they have known about you for years. For pennies I could buy demographic data (per household) for my metro area telling me if someone was likely to own pets, what type of money they made, what their job was, their ethnic background and other mundane details. If people are really concerned about their privacy, as much as they claim here, I wonder how they even get to Slashdot. How did they sign up for Internet service - if stolen, how did they get their PCs? Did they ever do anything that could have been sent up to companies like Experian? Because if so - "they" already know.

And really - "they" don't care. Then just want you to buy more tanning visits.

Re:Paranoia much? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681104)

There's a difference between the USA and Europe. In Europe, companies are not allowed to sell your data on to other people, and it must be used for the purpose it was provided. Europeans feel extremely and personally threatened by the US attitude of "All your information is open, and everyone knows about you".

The "Default deny" mindset is deeply ingrained in the European mindset, due to the violent history of the continent. It's Darwinian: In times of war, loose lips will get you killed.

Re:Paranoia much? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681254)

I don't want to use Facebook because, gasp, I read the terms of service and know the history of Facebook's decisions regarding their users. I actually trust Experian far more than Facebook, as they have a much better track record and have earned at least a minimal level of trust over the years.

No real information required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680664)

> At the moment the only information Google requires users to reveal is their name and gender.

Slight correction : reveal A name and A gender (options: male/female/other)

aliases? (1)

ememessien (1527769) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680670)

My major gripe with facebook (and the reason why I refused to sign up) has always been that they force users to reveal actual data about themselves, initially through the use of university email accounts and then extended to allow workplace email accounts. They have also been known to delete profiles where the user has attempted to hide behind an alias. Thankfully google has not done this and as such my google account profile contains a phony name with a DOB and location to match.

Re:aliases? (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681140)

Any website can force you to fill a box in. They can't force you to fill it with true information.

Particularly if it looks like it may be true and they have no way of knowing otherwise.

First Time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36680762)

This is actually the first time I'm really angry at what Google do.

This is not good for Google's future and is in my opinion a pure Evil move. Especially when you see how they word their explanation clearly saying that this is a problem for you to keep your profile.

Of course you have the choice: keep your profile private, they delete it. Put it public and delete all non basic information, the people you know and chat with also loose what you deleted.

Then, they'll make it so that in the future, you'll need a public profile in order to use google services.

Google+ tracking cookie (3, Interesting)

triclipse (702209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680826)

I have been noticing the new Google+ tracking cookie popping up across the web as well. (I blocked it with Ghostery.) Not sure what it does, perhaps someone could explain?

What's the big deal? (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 3 years ago | (#36680948)

This isn't a social site. It sounds more like a "here's my web card" or something sort of site. Why would you even use it if you wanted that info private?

Get a grip... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681000)

Get a grip people, no one is forcing you to have a Google profile. No one is forcing you to use +1. If people add you to their circle and you aren't signed up, they aren't going to see anything you do.

If you have privacy concerns, block their cookies, and use other search/email/etc providers. Or just google search in Incognito mode.

Google is a company with staff to pay, costs to cover, and shareholders to keep happy. They need to make money. They are giving away most of their services for free, in return we give up some of our anonymity. Sounds like a fair deal to me so I choose it. If it's not a fair deal for you, go elsewhere. Yes it would be nice if they had a "I'll pay you $small/month if you don't track me or look at my stuff" but they probably think that the money they'd make wouldn't cover the costs or be worthwhile in the long term. At the end of the day, as long as people continue to use their services, (and it's legal), they can do whatever they want!

Safety first. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681018)

I don't think giving your real name on the internet is a good idea, at all. Because of the special way Internet work, some criminal can collect a lot of information about you, and use that information against you. Where you live, what are you friends, what is the name of your childrens, his age,... maybe you don't provide that information in one place, but using your name and other bits, people can get all the information. Is no safe. If you have a antivirus and a firewall to product your computer, why you don't have a "firewall" to protect your childrens or yourself? this firewall is Gratis, is the anonymity. Using your real name break that protection.
Using a nickname on the internet use to be common sense. But then this type of wallet gardens make popular to use your name. And what happends wen you remove one of the walls of the wallet garden? all the asumptions that where true at first, are not true anymore. A public profile is a wallet garden withouth the wallet. You can, and you will, get your information indexed. Deleting private profiles is like deleting people that use antivirus. Is removing the option to do the things the right way. Is a bad idea. There will be tears, and I will be there to say: I told you so.

Just changed my name to Mark Zuckerberg (1)

hippo (107522) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681058)

and my gender is now Bitch!

No, your profile is not public (1)

Funnnny (1409625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681106)

You choose the part you want to show, only Gender and Name are the part you can't hide.
Isn't this the way Facebook doing now ?

Re:No, your profile is not public (2)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681196)

Facebook requires you to be male or female, but there's a checkbox titled 'Show my gender in my Profile', so you have the option of not making it public. From what I've read, your gender is both required and public on Google+.

What I'd like to know is whether there are options for transgendered or intersex individuals, who may not be comfortable identifying with either gender.

My Google account is a Google Apps account, so Google Profile and Google+ are still completely unavailable to me, so I'm not sure how it works.

What is a "Google Profile"? (3, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681118)

Can someone elaborate please? Might help me decide if I care about this or not.

Why??? Why?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36681142)

Really - I don't want this Google+, I just want email and Docs, and I am perfectly willing to click on your ads to fund it.

did not understand +1 app* (1)

web tasarm (2350880) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681202)

I added +1 to my site http://www.sibersonik.com/ [sibersonik.com] ,but I did not understand what is that?

it's bad to see that (0)

netlover1080z (2350960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36681260)

it's bad to see that. i moved to my home country site Luat dau thau [luatdauthau.info]
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