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Google Reader and the privacy

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Many complaints these days against Google Reader, that does not make the difference between sharing and caring, friends and contacts.

Google Reader

The new feature for the Google Reader is an online RSS feed service that gathers blog and Web site updates in a single pane, lets users mark blog posts or articles for sharing. this way, the shared sites and blogs were made available to every person on the sharer’s contact list for Google Talk messaging. A Google spokesperson told eWEEK Dec. 27 that while Google has not made any changes to the Reader sharing feature, the company is looking at “ways to add granularity and flexibility.”

The trouble began brewing Dec. 14 when Google linked Reader, which helps users keep track of new content on their favorite Web sites on a single page, with its Google Talk instant messaging software to make users’ shared items visible to their Google Talk friends.

Nolan Bayliss, co-founder of Naymz, a Chicago-based an online reputation management Website and professional networking site said Google’s latest flop bears striking similarities to Facebook’s Beacon flounder.

In Facebook’s case, the Beacon feature resulted in personal user data being shared with advertisers and the user’s friends on the social networking site without the user’s knowledge. The misstep prompted Facebook to issue an apology and to offer the San Francisco-based site’s 55 million users a clear opt in before their data is passed along to anyone. Facebook also released a privacy control that let users turn off Beacon completely. (CNN)

Danny Sullivan, editor of the Search Engine Land blog, writes: “Frankly, a better solution would be to dump the friends sharing feature until it comes back in a new form, where you specifically and deliberately create a list of contacts that you do want to share material with.”

After the feedback, Google’s answer in the Google Reader blog is that “We’re looking at ways to make sharing more granular and flexible, but in the meantime there are several ways to share items without letting all of your Google Talk friends see them (you can also add or remove friends via Gmail or Google Talk).”

It is possible to share any tag or item with the help of the settings. The already shared items can be changed by using the “Manage friends” setting.

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