Google Plus Social Search Privacy


I have been following the privacy concerns raised about Google Plus with interest and some skepticism.  I can’t quite figure out where exactly data is being used in a way that would create an issue.  I have two monitors on my desk, one on my left with my Google Plus circles displayed and one in front of me with the Google Search home page.  On my left, I search for New Hampshire primary results on Google Plus and I see posts that are public and posts from folks who have me in their Circles.  On my right, I search on Google for New Hampshire primary and see the usual Google Search results.  The new Google Plus Social Search in effect combines these  two screens.  If I am logged in to Google Plus when I search on Google Search, my personal results will include links to posts available to me in my Google Plus network.


Nothing previously private becomes public and nothing previously public but obscure becomes more visible than before.  Isn’t this precisely the way search should become more useful to me, leveraging data without exposing it in some unexpected way?


-Jules Polonetsky

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