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EFF – How To Opt Out of Gmail’s Google Plus Integration

“Google recently unveiled a feature that consolidates their products even further. Now you will receive an email in your Gmail inbox if someone sends a message to your Google Plus account, even if they don’t know your email address. Some people—perhaps most people—will not want it to be easier for strangers to send messages to their email inbox, even if the stranger won’t find out their actual email address. Yet Google has chosen to make this setting opt-out rather than opt-in; in other words, “Anyone on Google+” can by default send you an email (though this setting does have a feature where you have to agree to receive more than one message from a person you don’t know). To top it off, the only people who will automatically get an enhanced privacy setting are users with large follower bases, such as celebrities. Google Plus has for some time had a setting that lets you choose if you want others to be able to send you a personal private message. This feature, as potentially privacy invasive features should be, is completely opt-in. By default unchecked, users understood—whether they had seen the setting or not—that they would not be getting personal private messages using the service. They were given, and the norm became, a more secure mode of privacy. But now Google has opted them in automatically to this new, highly similar feature—which is addressed on a completely different settings page—reversing the type of privacy users had come to know. The old setting is by default ineffective. For those of you who do not want to receive messages from strangers directly to their email inbox, here’s how to opt out…”

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