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Google Reader Begins Sharing Private Data

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the thought-it-was-your-data-eh dept.

Google 313

Felipe Hoffa writes "One week ago Google Reader's team decided to begin showing your private data to all your GMail contacts. No need to opt-in, no way to opt-out. Complaints haven't been answered. Some users share their problems, including one family who says they won't be able to enjoy this Christmas because of this 'feature.' Will Google start doing this with all their products? You can check a summary of complaints in my journal here or browse the whole thread in Google Groups."

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this is how it really began (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811312)

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda is a 29-year old white male with a stocky build and a goatee. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that my readers will know that this isn't a fake.

CmdrTaco: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Hemos before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Hemos's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Hemos is about my age and is a complete loser. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Hemos for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Hemos fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Hemos worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Hemos enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Hemos's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Hemos. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my balls shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Hemos had a friend, Zonk, who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Hemos told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Hemos. I'd rather lose my balls.

Zonk restrained me on the living room floor while Hemos videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Hemos just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Hemos and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Hemos's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Hemos that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Hemos react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Zonk told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Zonk said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Hemos put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Hemos was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Hemos. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Hemos said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Hemos answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Zonk, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Zonk snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Hemos doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Hemos brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Hemos was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Hemos fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Hemos plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Hemos says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Hemos had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Hemos and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

Re:this is how it really began (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811356)

That is certainly some private data that I didn't need shared. Sounds true though.

Re:this is how it really began (-1, Troll)

SgtShavedBalls (1207670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811632)

Cmdr Taco's willingness to sacrifice his manhood to live in happiness with hemos is truly inspiring.

Re:this is how it really began (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811744)

chikety china, chinese chicken? you have?

Re:this is how it really began (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811966)

> Zonk restrained me on the living room floor while Hemos videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

OK, you sick spamming fuck. That was still offtoppic and trollish, but I LOL'd. Modify the script to randomly pick a filthy story, use a database of common names to figure out which strings correspond to the names of characters in the stories, and let regular expressions do their magic.

Tempest in a Teapot (5, Interesting)

X (1235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811338)

I'm sorry, but I'm with Google on this one. I was using Reader for a while after it was activated before I noticed it. It shares exactly what I expect with exactly who I expect. I've been using it for about a week now and I haven't felt like there was any violation of privacy.

Re:Tempest in a Teapot (2, Interesting)

jmccay (70985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811780)

FUD? Really? Seriously, this does point out a drawback with using online applications. You are trusting your data to a foreign entity that may not even reside in the country. Then you can split hairs by having the company in the country and the servers in a different country that has laws more to their liking. Nothing is to stop the company from publishing your data. If I were someone important, like a politician, I would not use yahoo or google email. To dangerous. I will stick to my plain old desktop readers thank you. I know where that data is stored and usually I can control the updates.

Re:Tempest in a Teapot (4, Informative)

X (1235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811836)

Dude, it is only sharing articles that you clicked on the "share" icon for, and only with your contacts. If you never click on the share icon, nobody sees anything.

This isn't one of those international conglomerate conspiracy theories.

Re:Tempest in a Teapot (4, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812014)

But he brings up a valid point. When ever you trust something to the whims of someone else, expect them to be the keeper of it, not you. There were plenty of people who shared with a few people under the assumption that only a few people saw it. When others in the contact list started seeing it, it created problems for them. Why? Because google at their whim change how something worked and people had the ability to access something though you that you didn't count on.

And this goes with on line documents or anything. If they change the policy because of whatever and catch you off guard, your shit out of luck. BTW, if you were a closet homo, would you want you mom and dad to see that you were sharing Gay Marriage articles with your lovers? I mean this as minor as you might think, reaches far beyond simple arguments about who cares. It goes to exemplify why you shouldn't trust anything to another person or company that can make a number of changes without notifying you.

Re:Tempest in a Teapot (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812202)

Oh pulleeze. Nobody is forcing anybody to use google. When you choose a "service" run by somebody else you accept the risks involved. If you are concerned that it might change then don't use it. Build your own email server and everything else you want at home and stop whining.

It's getting harder and harder to evaluate LEGITIMATE issues with google from the people that just like to complain because they are happy when they are complaining about something thats popular.

Re:Tempest in a Teapot (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812260)

Oh pulleeze. Nobody is forcing anybody to use google. When you choose a "service" run by somebody else you accept the risks involved. If you are concerned that it might change then don't use it. Build your own email server and everything else you want at home and stop whining.
That is exactly the point. You cannot trust the other guy. You need to do it yourself. And it isn't that people are forced into using Google, it is that they were charmed into a false sense of security.

It's getting harder and harder to evaluate LEGITIMATE issues with google from the people that just like to complain because they are happy when they are complaining about something thats popular.
I wouldn't consider this a legitimate issue, I would think it was more of an annoyance. But it is still an issue because people do things they don't want others to know about. And when there was an expectation of privacy, even if it was minor, when that expectation gets removes, there needs to be adequate notice given and a means to get out. Even if it means not sharing anything at all.

Re:Tempest in a Teapot (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812338)

Then use your own RSS feed aggregator, with cookies disabled, through tor, through privoxy, using a hacked wireless connection, on an OpenBSD machine, in your faraday cage in your wooden shack.

It's good to err on the side of paranoia when it comes to privacy, but when talking about Google things can get really over the top.

Re:Tempest in a Teapot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21812256)

That's what everyone says, until uncle google adds another 'feature', and then another, and then another. Slowly, but surely, uncle google is all knowing and all seeing.

Now be a good consumer and write your journal in google, so big brother can analyze your thought patterns.

Google, it's double plus good!

Ok right.... (5, Informative)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811348)

Ive just had a quick check.
There is a shared items area in my google reader, however none of my feeds are listed in there.

that is to say - they are not shared by default.
Granted, the feature is there but its hardly invading my privacy without me having a say in what can and cannot be displayed - and by default for me nothing is.

Re:Ok right.... (5, Informative)

ironfrost (674081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811498)

The summary is somewhat misleading - what people are complaining about is that items in the 'shared items' area are now shared with all your gmail contacts (which automatically includes anyone with a gmail account that you have sent an email to), rather than having to manually add contacts as before.

Re:Ok right.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811992)

or you could always just opt out [dwarfurl.com]

Re:Ok right.... (3, Insightful)

JPriest (547211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811768)

And this would be fine if the feature was always this way, but if they are going to change the behavior of the feature to be public to anyone you have had contact with, they should at least give you some warning about it in advance.

I never "got" GMail (3, Insightful)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811362)

One week ago Google Reader's team decided to begin showing your private data to all your GMail contacts.
I never "got" why people fell all over themselves about GMail and getting a GMail account. I've kept my own domain and use it for e-mail. Should my mail provider do something I don't like, I'd move my mail to another provider and update my MX record. (FYI: my mail provider, registrar, and ISP are 3 different companies.)

Re:I never "got" GMail (1, Informative)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811412)

Because Google is the best company there has ever been at Internet marketing. It's just that simple.

Re:I never "got" GMail (-1, Offtopic)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811446)

Because Google is the best company there has ever been at Internet marketing.
And that has... what to do exactly with GMail?

Re:I never "got" GMail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811472)

Because Google is the best company there has ever been at Internet marketing.


And that has... what to do exactly with GMail?


1) Google makes GMail. (known)
2) Google markets GMail. (from 1)
3) Google markets things well. (given)
4) GMail is marketed well. (2+3)

Those inferences were pretty much direct.

Re:I never "got" GMail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811700)

Stupidity prevails!

Re:I never "got" GMail (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811430)

I never "got" why people fell all over themselves about GMail and getting a GMail account.
AJAX makes gmail easily one of the best user interfaces as far as webmail goes. Unlimited space, for all intents and purposes as an e-mail account goes. Free POP (and now IMAP) access. Solid spam filtering. The webmail interface is entirely searchable using Google's fast and easy search engine technology.

In short, it's everything free e-mail providers like Yahoo and Hotmail promised, but never delivered on.

Re:I never "got" GMail (0, Troll)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811502)

AJAX makes gmail easily one of the best user interfaces as far as webmail goes.
So it's got a slick UI. BFD. But even you qualified your own statement. I have an equally nice UI using the same IMAP client I've been using since before GMail existed. I don't "get" why anyone would give up desktop clients for webmail.

Solid spam filtering.
My IMAP client aslo has solid spam filtering.

The webmail interface is entirely searchable using Google's fast and easy search engine technology.
My IMAP client, while it may not offer Google's exact flavor of search technology, does a perfectly fine job of searching my mail. (Indexing and searching text isn't rocket science.)

In short, it's everything free e-mail providers like Yahoo and Hotmail promised, but never delivered on.
Well, OK: if you were using webmail before GMail, I can see why you'd switch to GMail. But to me, that still begs the question of: why were you using webmail in the first place?

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

MntlChaos (602380) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811606)

Well there are multiple reasons to use webmail instead of a desktop client. One of the most convenient is that all my mail is very quickly accessible from any machine connected to the internet, without any setup of an IMAP client necessary. Also, it's search performance is actually faster than most thick clients I've used for e-mail. Finally, the freeness of the mail storage space it offers is nice.

I used to use thunderbird to access my ISP's POP mail, but have now gone to strictly webmail for my e-mail needs. The specific reasons I switched are: search performance, mail-file management between reformatting and multiple machines, the lack of connection to an ISP for hosting, and the UI is actually nicer than any mail client I've used (this last one is a personal preference thing, though).

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811680)

Well, OK: if you were using webmail before GMail, I can see why you'd switch to GMail. But to me, that still begs the question of: why were you using webmail in the first place?
or IMAP. With GMail, you can have it both ways -- a webmail client and IMAP access.

I use Thunderbird + IMAP with Gmail so that when I'm at home, I can read my mail on Thunderbird. But, when I'm away at work, I can access my GMail account over webmail.

I get it both ways.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811696)

Labels are one of the most compelling aspects of Gmail.

I can apply multiple labels to a single email, whereas with traditional email clients, I can merely file emails in a single mailbox, or I can make a copy in another mailbox.

Having applied multiple labels, I can then search for the subset of emails that have a specific combination of labels. Good luck doing that with Thunderbird or any other traditional client.

IMHO, the people who don't "get" Gmail, don't "get" the way labels work.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

horatio (127595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811876)

Well, OK: if you were using webmail before GMail, I can see why you'd switch to GMail. But to me, that still begs the question of: why were you using webmail in the first place?
I understand your overall point. However, I wasn't using webmail before gmail. I hated hotmail/yahoo/etc and recognized how "generic" it was. I was using Pine, Eudora, and Thunderbird. I switched to web mail for a few reasons:

  • the slick UI (searching messages in a desktop/local client always required me to specify more parameters about the search than I wanted to) You say BFD, I say a well-designed client lets me get through my mail faster, or find an old message quickly.
  • the universal client - the web browser. Not every machine has Thunderbird installed, and even if it does, it means configuring (and keeping configured) the client.
  • No local cache means that I don't worry about checking my personal mail at work - since I use SSL to connect to gmail, and sometimes further route that link over SSH to an external system. Not
  • A local client has to be re-configured, and all the mail re-downloaded every time the system is re-built

I like pine as a remote client, but it obviously has short-comings. Purists will try to revoke my geek card for saying that, and I spend a good part of my day in a terminal but last I used it Pine wasn't cutting it for things like attaching files (lives on a remote system) or downloading/viewing attachments (same reason). I'm getting kind of ticked with this crap Google is pulling. If I could find a web client I liked as much as their UI, I would install it on my mail host. I don't have the time, energy, or large org behind me to simply recreate their client for myself.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811988)

So it's got a slick UI. BFD. But even you qualified your own statement. I have an equally nice UI using the same IMAP client I've been using since before GMail existed.

I think people are making the case that it's not equally nice -- that GMail is actually superior to desktop clients. I actually like IMAP, and I like being able to do my own PGP signing, but I haven't seen anyone beat GMail yet.

My IMAP client, while it may not offer Google's exact flavor of search technology, does a perfectly fine job of searching my mail. (Indexing and searching text isn't rocket science.)

Which is why you'd think someone else would've gotten it right. (See my sibling's mention of labels. You might know them as "tags".)

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812312)

Here's the thing: You don't need to give up your desktop client. GMail supports IMAP -- best of both worlds. I do most of my mailing from Thunderbird, but that's not to say that the web interface doesn't come in handy.

Google's spam filtering is much better for me than what Thunderbird does, even after years of training -- and with regard to your claim that your IMAP client does search just as well, I doubt it very much; I only know of two of them that have similarly comprehensive functionality (boolean logic, individual components of that search restricted to to/from/subject/whatever, etc).

I used to pay for an IMAP-accessible account from SpamCOP. Still do, actually, since I haven't quite finished migrating off of it yet. However, GMail (or, rather, its Google Apps counterpart) offers more features and better spam filtering at a much better price (free, as opposed to $30/yr); why wouldn't I use it?

Re:I never "got" GMail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21812244)

gmail reads all your email, adds that data to your profile, adds that to the doubleclick.net data, adds that to google-analytics data and all the other google owned company data ... searches perhaps ... They know **everything** about your life online. That's fine assuming you agree to it. Use implies agreement.

I bet you never connected these dots or you simply don't care about privacy whether on-line or not. Eventually, google will buy VISA and connect your purchases with your online use. Then they will purchase Comcast and tag all your TV watching.

Take a quick look at their privacy policy. Scary.

Re:I never "got" GMail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811454)

I never "got" why people fell all over themselves about GMail and getting a GMail account. I've kept my own domain and use it for e-mail.

So do I, but that's no barrier to understanding that most people don't have their own domain. The web hasn't been just geeks for a long time now.

What GMail is is what Hotmail was: free email service that not locked to your temporary local provider or school. Hotmail got bought by Microsoft and became crap. GMail got it right, and was big enough to be as long-term as we can expect any company to be, and to be instantly recognizable & thus memorable when you say "email me at "joe6pack@gmail.com" - little or no writing down necessary. Quite unlike my domain, which requires me to hand out business cards to gloss over the conversational incovenience of spelling out a long addy.

Which is all fricking obvious and I think you're just trolling to build up your juvenile sense of worth. But in case you really were curious, that's what it was about, and all there is to get.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811484)

And what does this have to Google Reader exactly?

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811536)

And what does this have to Google Reader exactly?
The article summary specifically says, "... to begin showing your private data to all your GMail contacts." So if you use GMail and you have contacts (highly likely), then, according to the summary, all your private data are now visible to everybody on your GMail contact list.

It's entirely possible that the Slashdot summary is wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811562)

The summary was incorrect, it used your Google GTalk, or whatever it is called, contacts... not the same thing.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

synx (29979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812086)

This comment is off base - your shared data is in fact now SHARED.

Things that people cannot see:
- what blogs you are subscribed to
- what items you star
- what you read or dont read

etc

In other words, when you share something, it is in fact shared.

Re:I never "got" GMail (2, Interesting)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811526)

>I never "got" why people fell all over themselves about GMail and getting a GMail account.

Maybe you don't know how terrific GMail's feature set now is. It has been steadily improving, and some recent additions give it compelling advantages over your current setup.

You said you own your own domain that you use for your email account. Did you know that you can now forward all your email to Gmail, enjoy the benefits of a superb spam filter, and then use either Gmail's excellent web interface or an IMAP client? Did you know that you can now use Google to have your default return address be your custom domain name, so nobody even knows your using GMail? Did you know that GMail offers unlimited filters, so that every time some clown decides to add you to his BCC "Ron Paul 2008" list, you can click the filter button and never, ever hear from him again?

All of this is free. Like you I have my own domain -- but Gmail's excellent suite of services is too useful to miss out on.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811678)

Did you know that you can now use Google to have your default return address be your custom domain name, so nobody even knows your using GMail?


Except that goolge will silently add a header to your email which contains the GMail address which it was sent from: "Sender:"

Try sending an email to a hotmail address. It will say:
From: sendingAddress@gmail.com on behalf of yourFromAddress@yourDomain

It looks very unprofessional.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812208)

>Except that goolge will silently add a header to your email which contains the GMail address which it was sent from: "Sender:"

No, Not "Sender." Actually all Google tacks on is "Return Path," in your email's full header, which is both an accurate and elegant approach to what's being done. Nobody with well-designed email software operating in default mode would ever see your email's return path.

>Try sending an email to a hotmail address. It will say:
>From: sendingAddress@gmail.com on behalf of yourFromAddress@yourDomain

>It looks very unprofessional.

Please don't take this as a flame, but I'm supposed to worry that Hotmail users might think I'm being unprofessional with my email handling?

No other email service that I'm aware of does the behavior you describe. But then I guess you can count on Microsoft to purposely make an elegant service offered by their competitors appear clumsy once you are within Microsoft's ecosystem.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

thebrieze (1102809) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811736)

You could also use Google apps for your domain and get the best of both worlds.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

JPriest (547211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811774)

And all of that is offset by the fact that you still can't sort emails into folders.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812204)

Labels don't cut it for you? I actually prefer to be able to tag emails that have to do with more than one subject in more than one way.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812372)

Folders, labels, whatever. They're so close to the same thing that it's almost not worth mentioning. The only functional difference that I can discern between the two is that a message may have more than one label, whereas folder-based systems typically only allow a message to exist in one place at one time.

So. Don't like labels? Simply never assign more than label of them to a given message, and you'll be just as limited as you would be if it were using folders instead.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811874)

Maybe you don't know how terrific GMail's feature set now is ...

I'm happy that you're happy with Gmail, but it's worth pointing out that the features you've mentioned are fairly standard things many of have taken for granted for years.

Relative to other webmail offerings, I'm sure Gmail stands head and shoulders above the rest. But webmail is still webmail. And a browser is still a browser. No amount of features or fun interface tricks are going to change those facts, or make the inherent limitations go away.

Put another way, the rest of us don't need to or have any desire to wait for a steadily improving anything. We already have standards-based solutions that work, are transparent as they are feature complete, and I'll wager my last dollar will never be implemented in a browser, or provided via a webpage. And with respect to the subject of this article, we most definitely don't need to worry about what a third party is doing, or not doing.

Labels are about it. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812018)

You said you own your own domain that you use for your email account. Did you know that you can now forward all your email to Gmail, enjoy the benefits of a superb spam filter, and then use either Gmail's excellent web interface or an IMAP client?

I carry a laptop everywhere, and I'm not willing to trust my email to someone's potentially keylogger-infested machine. Webmail buys me nothing except OS independence, and Thunderbird gives me that, if I cared.

Did you know that you can now use Google to have your default return address be your custom domain name, so nobody even knows your using GMail?

Doesn't change the from address. And if it did, that'd make me a bit more likely to be filtered, I'd bet.

Did you know that GMail offers unlimited filters, so that every time some clown decides to add you to his BCC "Ron Paul 2008" list, you can click the filter button and never, ever hear from him again?

I can do that anyway, though I usually tell people to stop adding me to these lists.

But did you know that desktop clients not only have unlimited filters, but unlimited storage? It's true! All you have to do is buy more disk space if you ever come close to running out!

All of this is free.

I pay less than $10/year for a domain. Everything else is done by a server I have running in my house. I'd probably have this server anyway, just to play around with -- webhosting and such -- so Postfix is every bit as "free" to me as GMail. Moreso, because I don't have to put up with advertising. (Or spam -- my spamfilter is every bit as good as GMail's, as far as I can tell.

Re:Labels are about it. (1)

hab136 (30884) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812360)

I used to do about what you describe, except I had also set up Horde Imp webmail [horde.org] on my own server for those times I didn't have a laptop with me. After several botched upgrades (webmail, IMAP, OS level, you name it), then drive failures (hooray mirroring) and then finally a power supply failure, I got tired of maintaining the whole setup, and switched to Google Apps [google.com] .

Doesn't change the from address. And if it did, that'd make me a bit more likely to be filtered, I'd bet.

With Google Apps (and similar offerings from Yahoo, etc) there is no @gmail.com address, just accounts at your custom domains. I had no trouble migrating from my Qmail+IMAP+SSL setup, and my mail is no more filtered than it used to be.

You give up some control over your email - no more greylisting [greylisting.org] for me - but the convenience of someone else worrying about power, disks, backups, spam filtering, etc is too much to pass up for me, especially since it's free. If Google went bankrupt tomorrow, I don't even lose mail since it's already been downloaded through IMAP. In fact, I normally access my mail through my mail program or my phone (IMAP and SMTP over SSL); I almost never actually use the web interface except to create filters.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812336)

You said you own your own domain that you use for your email account. Did you know that you can now forward all your email to Gmail, enjoy the benefits of a superb spam filter, and then use either Gmail's excellent web interface or an IMAP client?
I already have a "superb spam filter." If were to use the same IMAP client I use now, well then there's no noticeable difference, so why bother?

Did you know that you can now use Google to have your default return address be your custom domain name, so nobody even knows your using GMail?
You say that like it's an innovation. My return address has been my own domain name for well over a decade.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811528)

I've kept my own domain and use it for e-mail.


good luck if for some reason your registrar has a hiccup and a squatter registers your domain... as things stand now I prefer having my email on yahoo/google than on a personal domain just for this reason.

Yahoo?? (4, Insightful)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811596)

as things stand now I prefer having my email on yahoo/google than on a personal domain just for this reason.

So you don't mind Yahoo pasting spam into your outgoing emails? Those little ads at the bottom of your emails from Yahoo (and msn) users are rather annoying. It's one thing to pay for the service by viewing ads, but it's another to pay for it by spamming non-users.

Re:Yahoo?? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812214)

Those little ads at the bottom of your emails from Yahoo (and msn) users are rather annoying.
Recently hotmail has been putting this line on outgoing messages:

i'm is proud to present Cause Effect, a series about real people making a difference. Learn more [live.com]

Apparently "i'm" is some sort of charity-sounding thing. But to the average reader, it looks like the sender just typoed "I'm proud to present..."

Re:I never "got" GMail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21812032)

That's highly unlikely and could happen to anyone. However, there are standard practices here and I'd be surprised if a well known registrar would mess something up like that.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811574)

I never "got" why people fell all over themselves about GMail and getting a GMail account.


The right features (spam filtering, threaded views, storage, labels, and access from anywhere), a pleasant interface, ease of use, and it's free. I am not aware of any other mail app or service that can match GMail on all four.

The "google is teh cool" cache also factors heavily into GMail's success.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

Daltin (1153533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811766)

Because at the time many of us we on our 25Mb Hotmail and Yahoo accounts, and bigger sounded better.

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

MishgoDog (909105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811862)

One word - Conversations.
I presently have all my email go to my domain POP, my mobile phone's email address, and gmail. More and more I simply don't use my mail client (I've tried a bunch, am using Thunderbird now), and use gmail instead, and it's all down to conversations.
Threading on these things is nowhere nearly as powerful as gmail's conversation tool (including sent mail, hiding past messages included in the email, and so on), and when you start having more than one reply each, it makes such a difference. When you have a group of friends who can email around 100+ emails in a single thread in a single day, it's impossible to live without.

That and convenience - I check my email at work, at home, on my phone, on my laptop - yes, I could set aside a bunch of hosting space to archive all my emails and use squirrelmail and the like - but why not use gmail which is free, much slicker, and easier to use!

Re:I never "got" GMail (1)

synx (29979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812124)

The Gmail UI interface is one of the best I've seen. The threaded view is so efficient on the screen space and is a great way to read mail lists. It's also great at work too, since replies to old threads brings the whole thing to the top, so everyone on the list gets the whole history right there.

I've used squirrelmail, and I can't believe anyone would seriously suggest that it is better than gmail's UI. The only potential negative is that gmail is not self-hosted.

Just admit it - for your needs/desires you don't like webmail. That doesn't mean there are no benefits or positive things about webmail. If you admitted that you'd be less of an asshole.

Re:I never "got" GMail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21812376)

One week ago Google Reader's team decided to begin showing your private data to all your GMail contacts.
I never "got" why people fell all over themselves about GMail and getting a GMail account. I've kept my own domain and use it for e-mail. Should my mail provider do something I don't like, I'd move my mail to another provider and update my MX record. (FYI: my mail provider, registrar, and ISP are 3 different companies.)
The answer is that what you just mentioned is beyond the time and expertise of 99% of people.

I don't get it (2, Informative)

lb746 (721699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811376)

This seems like they just added the same feature that make Del.icio.us such a popular sight. I can understand if this is sharing your pr0n folder with grandma, but if your using an RSS feed for that, than I'm just way behind the times I guess?

Maybe someone with personal experience can help explain this better than the linked articles did. Did it automatically check all your previously stored items as being shared, or does it just default share everything?

Re:I don't get it (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811480)

Okay. Let's say you're a pagan or a Wiccan or a Druid or something like that. Your fundamentalist Christian family, all of which have gmail accounts because you sent them invitations because you thought it was soo cool, has no idea of your alternative religious beliefs. You've subscribed to feeds from Witchvox.com and a number of similar sites.

What Google essentially did just 'outed' you to them.

Speaking as neopagan practitioner and priest (out of the closet), I can say that this situation would be not be unlikely at all.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811718)

If your family is going to 'out' you because of your beliefs, why would you want to be 'in' with them anyway? Doesnt sound like much of a family.

Re:I don't get it (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811778)

If your family is going to 'out' you because of your beliefs, why would you want to be 'in' with them anyway? Doesnt sound like much of a family.
Well, and that's exactly what I've counseled to plenty of my students and others who have sought my help in the past. Unfortunately, for some, this may not be much of an option. Some are dependent upon their families for financial support, for example. Others need to keep in contact with family members who are sympathetic to them, but the rest of the family may actively attempt to prevent contact because the pagan family member is a member of an 'evil Satanic cult' (despite having no belief in Satan, yada yada). There can be a lot of intriticate politics involved in being a pagan when your family won't support you in those beliefs, so Google outing these people in this way can be extremely painful for them.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811820)

werd.

So live in the shadows, pretend that your life isnt so offensive to those family members with the issue, and continue to mooch support off them that they would be unwilling to provide if they knew about your beliefs?

Sounds like more trouble than its worth, but what do I know - I conform.

Re:I don't get it (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812184)

Once, again, you're right. And once again, that's what I tell people who ask me. Unfortunately, not everyone will follow your advice.

That's not Google's choice. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812034)

While it may be smart to be honest and straightforward with people you're close to, it's no more Google's right to prevent that than it is their right to sell your personal info to spammers.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

X (1235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811870)

For this scenario to play out, you'd have to click on "share" an article from these feeds. Free advice: if you are worried about privacy, don't click on things that say "share". If you do, you might want to unclick them quickly.

"Share" used to be different. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812048)

"Share", in this context, did not always imply sharing with the entire world.

Yes, it perhaps wasn't the smartest choice by a lot of these people, but Google's actions, and specifically, their lack of a real response, is exactly the kind of "evil" they were trying to avoid becoming.

Maybe I'm missing something (3, Insightful)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811400)

but there seems to be a fairly obvious way to opt out. Its not sharing any of my private data, because I simply don't use the product.

If you aren't willing to give Google what they want then why should Google give you anything?

Web applications (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811408)

...more often than not are proprietary software. An open source desktop application would more than likely to have a thousand options for customisation so that all the users are pleased, (gnome applications excluded of course). If you are running proprietary software on your desktop or a proprietary web application then you use what you are given.

damned if you do, damned if you don't (1, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811410)

at this point, anything google does is going to piss off someone. They need to keep growing to keep the suits happy, but the more they grow, the less I (and others) like them. Yahoo tried to be everything to everybody and failed it bigtime. Maybe if their search wasn't full of shit results they could look it up.

A big mistake at a critical moment (2, Interesting)

Janos421 (1136335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811424)

It's quite a surprising mistake from Google, particularly when the merge with Double-Click "brings greater focus on privacy". Even if they claim that they fix some problems and offer more control to users, they could have make these fix before launching the service... but it's a beta. That's what you risk when you use free beta services.

Furthermore, it is a good example of privacy lack of consideration, and it offers a good argument to privacy defenders. In addition, it highlights the fact that every service offered per Google potentially involves privacy problems. In fact, like Google, I wouldn't have believed that GReader data were so sensitive. And once again, it proves that privacy matters only when you lost it.

So far, we used anonymity to protect privacy, but in that case... proxies are useless. How can we protect privacy against such threats? One solution is to use obfuscation: generating noise (for instance, subscribing to additional RSS flows that we'll never read) in our profile so neither Google, nor our gmail contact can find out which are the RSS flows we are really reading. This assumes that the obfuscation mechanism let only the user know to which flows it really subscribed.

I don't think such mechanism exists now for Greader, but I'm developing a FF plug-in (http://squigglesr.free.fr) to protect search privacy using obfuscation. Keywords are extracting from your favorite RSS flows (for example the one you subscribed in greader) to generate personalized queries. It's quite similar to TrackMeNot (which also use obfuscation), but I'm trying to make less noise but make it more coherent (a good comparison is trying to make lot of noise around what you say, or simply mix some coherent conversations).

Re:A big mistake at a critical moment (3, Funny)

Anxarcule (884937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811886)

That sure wasn't blatant advertising or anything.

Don't bring an internet to a pissing match (4, Interesting)

MrLint (519792) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811438)

So I went looking for how this ruined x-mas for someone and found the link [google.com] .

It seems like to me that what started out as something that was shared turned into a pissing match between already barely tolerating each other family members. I fault this summary because intentional escalation of individuals is *not* the fault of google (or anyone other than the parties involved.

Re:Don't bring an internet to a pissing match (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811658)

The problem was that it was shared with more people than intended. Imagine sending an e-mail using g-mail to one of your friends and finding that it was sent to your entire contact list, and you'll see where the problem is coming from.

Shared items are not private (5, Funny)

cheebie (459397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811462)

The laws of physics have begun exposing all of your private items to the world. In a stunning turn of events, it has been discovered that if you place things on your front lawn with a gigantic sign saying "Look at me!", people can freely see them.

"This is outrageous", screamed Peter P Hysterical on the same forum where he documents every nanosecond of his life. "There's no opt out procedure, there's no whitelisting. It's just everyone looking at all the stuff I've decided to share."

God, responding to inquiries said, "Look, if you don't want people to see your stuff, put it inside. I created walls for a reason."

Re:Shared items are not private (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812108)

You do understand that telling one or two people something while it is "sharing" it with them, isn't the same thing as telling everyone that same thing right? And maybe the fact that so much of everything else is so public, that these few casually private pieces of life would mean more in this respect then an average joe not in the same position.

The problem isn't that it was shared, it was who it was shared with changed and that meant things that you wouldn't tell you boss made it to him directly from you without any notice or any way to prevent it.

Misleading article (4, Informative)

BlizzardandBlaze (1207664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811464)

...No need to opt-in, no way to opt-out...

Not exactly. According to Google:

"You can hide items from any friend you don't want to see, and you can also opt out of sharing by removing all your shared items."

Yesterday.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811478)

http://www.celticminded.com/ [celticminded.com] Yarrrrrrrrrrr

This would have been disastrous for me. (3, Interesting)

Satevis (1160823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811516)

I'm relieved that I don't use Reader. If I did, I would probably have been sharing atheist and NSFW articles with my spouse and some close friends. I work in politics, and if that stuff had gotten out to other people on my contact lists, my career would have been over. I don't trust Google anymore.

Re:This would have been disastrous for me. (2, Insightful)

mitchellsoft (239895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811834)

Just like the rest of the politicians, huh? The only way you or your group can stay in "power" is to lie to the people. Keep the faith, I guess.

Re:This would have been disastrous for me. (2, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812044)

Your spouse and close friends, I would think, would already know where you stand religiously and politically? God, oh sorry, knows my friends do.

Re:This would have been disastrous for me. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812138)

I often read and send links to articles about religious stuff that doesn't reflect my beliefs. What if they know where you stand already and something like that made then doubt it? Everything in context is one thing. But you know as well as I do, if something suddenly appears outside your control, it is very difficult to keep it in context.

Re:This would have been disastrous for me. (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812290)

Well, personally I'm trying to always be educated. My friends would just assume I'm doing research. But if you have to be worried about what your friends think of what you're looking at and your beliefs, then you need new friends. At any given time I can look at an article about Oakland Raiders to Free Masons to Hitler to an article on a new protocol. I've frequently done long hour of insane research just to learn and never felt I had to justify it. Now of course it would get shady if you're looking at articles about drug production and such, but not about personal beliefs.

Sadder... (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812072)

I'm not trying to justify Google here, but...

You're in politics, and porn and atheism are enough to end your career.

Not your fault, I'm sure, but that is sad.

A little more info (3, Informative)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811518)

First of all, I had no idea what Google reader is: which already makes it a low privacy risk to me. So I did a google for Google Reader, and found this page: http://www.google.com/reader/view/#directory-welcome-page [google.com] . I'm not sure if the message on the side was always there, but it clearly states that it shares the data with "friends". "friends" being people on your google talk list.

I watched the video introduction about it, and it didn't seem to require personal data to use. Nor did the article summary say what the personal data that it was sharing is. So I'm going to guess it is sharing what ever it is that it is helping you get.

What this says to me is that people are still working with the assumption that things online apps hosted by third-parties help them to get it still private. I don't trust my ISP, farless Google. My lack of trust however, doesn't prevent me from consuming their useful services.

Thanks (1)

nobodymk2 (1137293) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811534)

I just deleted all my gmail contacts to realize that I don't have anything in a shared folder. Thanks.






Just kidding.

I use Gtalk for workplace IM'ing (3, Funny)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811542)

Does anyone know if it's possible to sign up to any of the job sites with Google Reader? Seems like a good way to drop a subtle hint to my boss.

They'll get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811594)

As with all features, there's going to be a bunch of people complaining about how it works, etc. After a while, the furor dies down, and new users come and actually like it.

So yeah, a lot of people don't like our new feature, but they'll get over it.

It's not the feature... (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812104)

...it's how it was rolled out. Things that were not shared have now become shared.

If you actually work for Google, it sounds like your attitude is part of the problem.

Yes, the feature is cool. Yes, people will get used to the new way things work. No, it still was not OK how you rolled it out.

I mean, come on. You're fucking Google. You're supposed to be the best engineers in the world. So tell me, how hard would it be to have a "shared" option, and a third "publish" option which was off by default? And then to prompt people on their first login after introducing "publish" whether they wanted their stuff to be shared or published by default, and whether they wanted that change to affect all their shared stuff?

That took me, what, ten seconds to think up, and less than a minute to type, and this isn't even my fastest keyboard.

The issue is a change in semantics (5, Insightful)

ai2097 (693562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811600)

As many readers have commented, this does not seem like such a big deal. Shared stuff being public? Who cares? Don't do it, ya morons! And so on.

I don't use GMail, or Google's reader. However, from TFA and the complaints, it appears as though there was a service where you could aggregate and re-publish feeds through a link that was not (automatically) published anywhere. Google changed the semantics of this, to mean that these "shared" feeds are now automatically available to everyone in your contact list. This (rightfully) has pissed off many existing users, who have invested their time into a system that they must now abandon, because most people have the concept of "mixed company." You don't talk about certain topics in certain groups -- you might be fine making dirty jokes around your regular friends, for example, but you behave yourself when you're at a professional lunch.

So, this is not a matter of not using it -- it's a matter of bait-and-switch. The rules got changed out from under the user's feet, and that leads to a feeling of betrayal in the case where embarrassing information gets leaked. Google gave the impression that you were just hanging out with your friends, and then let in your stuffy colleagues while you were in the middle of telling The Aristocrats Joke [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The issue is a change in semantics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21811682)

I don't use GMail
Why are you commenting on GMail then?

Shitty summary (1)

xubu_caapn (1086401) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811662)

This is such a bad summary. I have no idea what's going on from this summary.

Others have called it misleading, but I wouldn't know, because I have no idea what it's talking about.

Google reader filtering this article??? (1)

anatoxindustx (795324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811706)

I decided to play around with Google reader because of this article. The first subscription I added was /. This article is not showing up in the subscriptions. I tried to force the refresh but still nothing. Maybe it will pop up in a few minutes.

When even the original poster stops ReadingTFA (3, Informative)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811708)

From the original poster:

No need to opt-in, no way to opt-out.
From the initial, very first comment in the thread they link to:

You can hide items from any friend you don't want to see, and you can also opt out of sharing by removing all your shared items.
Sure, it's a pain: having to disable all of your shared items if you don't, you know, want to share. But it's not exactly "no way to opt-out" when the very first thing they do is tell you how to.

Now, had they been straight and called it for what it is, "You're auto opted in and the only way to opt out is a painful and destructive process that devalues other aspects." then that would be one thing. Blatantly misrepresenting to jump to the head of the wambulance queue - to the point where it's hard to believe it was anything other than deliberate - just devalues your point and loses you all credibility, even for your valid points.

Re:When even the original poster stops ReadingTFA (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812216)

The no way to opt out wasn't the sharing. It was to opt out from sharing with just friends compared to everyone of your contacts. You see, your contacts might not be your friends and you might want to share to your friends but not all your contacts. Show when X turns into Y because of some arbitrary decisions, The opt out would be going back to X instead of option Z which is no sharing at all.

The problem isn't really that they don't want to share, it is that they want to control who they share with.

Isn't private data.. (1)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811812)

Isn't private data supposed to be... well.. private?

I know, common sense need not apply here apparently.

Why would you in the first place? (2, Insightful)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811868)

I don't know why anyone would store anything important or personally sensitive anywhere on the internet anyway, unless you store everything encrypted. I've had close friends of mine under standing orders for years running to never email me anything of a personally sensitive nature, or at least understand that if they do, transmitting it via the internet is completely insecure. I read more and more about "online apps" instead of local apps, and online data storage companies, and I have to roll my eyes because I have to assume that sooner or later someone, either criminals, the government, or the company itself, is going to go browsing through whatever you've got stored on their servers. Bottom line: You want privacy for your data? Store it locally, or better yet, offline.

headline should read... (4, Insightful)

pavera (320634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811962)

Google Reader begins sharing public data in a new way.

These were not "private" feeds, they were publicly available URLs (although obfuscated).

I'm not necessarily siding with Google on this one. I do think they should have thought this change of functionality out a little more, but the fact remains this data was already public. Comparing it to the Beacon scandal is not accurate at all.

Uhh I don't get it... (2, Interesting)

nullhero (2983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21811996)

Per Google Reader Group they are only sharing the information that you asked them to share. And only with those that you have used Google Talk. I share things in Google Reader because I want other people to know what I'm reading, and what I find interesting. No where is there any private data, unless you count the profile that you create, which you can limit the amount of data that you place on that.

Google isn't sharing any private user data. If you don't want to share anything then don't click the share icon.

Mr. Hand was right (3, Insightful)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812142)

You are all on dope.

You give Google your private data, while they keep it private.

Are the folks at Google like the magical elves that come out at night and fix shoes? No, Google is a business. The folks who own Google do it for the money. You give Google your private data, and they mine the stuff out of it. There's nothing private about it. Your private data, after you give it to Google, isn't private any more.

Moderate the article (0, Offtopic)

vikstar (615372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812242)

I want to be able to moderate articles. Especially ones like this.

Yowza, another kdawson turd (2, Informative)

fluxrad (125130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21812350)

Funny, I actually didn't really care what /. editor posted which story until I read a couple of stinkers six months ago in which half the posters pointed out what a crappy editor kdawson was. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, then, to find this bit of FUD posted by the infamous editor as well.

Seriously, the first link is to a self-referenced Slashdot Journal. The second link is to a google groups thread discussing how google shares with your friends data that you've opted to share with your friends!!!

Seriously. This article is crap.
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