Google+ tightens the privacy a bit more

This is a nice move by Google: if you disable resharing on a post, it also disables the ability for users to add +mentions to the post.  It wasn’t a big issue, and it was one that Google debated internally for a while, but they ultimately decided to block it for the sake of user privacy.

Here’s the official update from Google’s Vincent Mo:

Many of you have asked for this, and now it’s here!

Now, when you disable resharing (from the arrow at the top corner of your post), it also disables +mentions. That way, you can really clamp down on who’s allowed to see the post.

There were reasons why we originally allowed +mentions even when sharing was disabled, but your feedback convinced our team to change that. Keep sending feedback! We’re listening.

Let me tell you, sometimes it’s hard to answer your feature requests without giving away the fact that we’re already working on them. =)

Don’t be scared of the Google+ Terms of Service; they’re in your favor

Lately, a chunk of the Google+ Terms of Service is being tossed around to scare people because “they’ll own everything you post”!  Obviously, this isn’t true, as Lotus Carroll has pointed out.  Here’s the part being passed around:

“By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

Admittedly, it sounds kind of scary.  That is, until you read the full text of that part of the TOS:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

That’s a little better.  The middle part being focused on is present in the Terms of Service for virtually every online site that focuses on user-generated content.  It has to, because they need the right to show it! :)

More celebs showing up on Google+

Just a few days ago, we showed you a list of some of the celebrities using Google+. As the number of celebrities on Google+ continues to grow, it’s  becoming an increasingly difficult to determine the real ones from the fake ones.

As ReadWriteWeb points out, there are a few things that celebs are doing to prove it’s them:

  • Alyssa Milano, very well-known on Twitter, tweeted a link to her Google+ profile to prove it was her.
  • Mark Zuckerberg sent a text to Robert Scoble to assure him that it was legit, and he spread the word.
Obviously, ad-hoc solutions like that won’t work too well in the long run, so hopefully Google has some plans in place to deal with it.

A few more celebs that have joined recently, and are widely believed to be legit:

Five privacy settings you need to know about in Google+

Google has done a great job building privacy into Google+.  From the circles to the sharing, it’s been very well thought out.

However, privacy isn’t a simple thing.  To that extent, Google has given you quite a few options to adjust the privacy of your account to your liking.  NetworkWorld has written a nice post that explains how to tackle five privacy features that you need to know about:

  1. How to Prevent Anyone on Google+ from Emailing You
  2. How to Selectively Disable Post Resharing on Google+
  3. How to Disable Google+ Email Notifications
  4. How to Export Your Google+ Data
  5. How to Quit Google+
Check out their full post for details.  Any other privacy tips you’ve come across that are helpful?

More tweaks to the privacy on Google+

This was posted by Google’s Shimrit Ben-Yair regarding some minor privacy tweaks.  These are the kinds of little updates that need to be squared away before the site goes public, so it’s good to see them working on it.

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone! We’re paying special attention to privacy-related issues, which is why we’re rolling a new improvement to Google+ over the next few days.

Changing your public profile picture or scrapbook photos will no longer generate a public post to the stream, just to the people you have in your circles. So only people in your circles will engage in discussions about the photos you post.

Now I’d like to see them add a feature to mute shared posts when the different people share the same hot post over and over.  Coming soon, I’m sure…