Google +1 – The End of Web Anonymity?

Google +1 button – you click, your mates know you like a certain site or page. It will boost your page and site rep, so it sounds pretty good and potentially very powerful. After dashing to install it, I can’t wait to click on my first +1 button. As I hovered over the button, this popped up:

It states “Click here to publicly +1 this as [your name here]“. Ok, you got me at “publicly”. When I clicked on the almighty +1 button, this popped up:

I halted. Then I had flashbacks of Google Buzz. All my thought bubbles scream “Privacy violation!”.

It is one thing to Like something but it’s really another thing to show your real identity to the world. The Facebook Like button is very likeable and clickable simply because you know who can see what you clicked on (of course, this is not true for all but at least for me). The difference in exposure is huge, Facebook is like a house, where you can choose who you allow to listen in to your conversations. Google on the other hand, is the rest of the world outside your house. You wouldn’t know who’s listening and you wouldn’t have any control where your conversations travel to. I simply would not want my personal details being spreaded all over the internet through Google. This is what Google said about +1 in its privacy policy page:

In order to use the Google +1 button, you need to have a public Google Profile visible to the world, which at a minimum includes the name you chose for the profile. That name will be used across Google services and in some cases it may replace another name you’ve used when posting content under your Google Account. We may display your Google Profile identity to people who have your email address or other identifying information.

Strangely, the info page on opting out is non-existent.

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