Dear Google+, Ignorance is Bliss

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Dear Google+, please stop creeping me out. I know you come from the minds of probably the best computer engineers in the world. But that doesn’t mean that everyone else will appreciate how creepy a computer algorithm can become when it has the power and information to figure out any types of connections among people. I have two examples to give you:

A friend of mine had an issue with his UPS and he called up their customer care to arrange for a replacement. They asked for a copy of the invoice to be sent to their email address. That email address was a gmail address (lets not get into why this was the case). When my friend composed and sent an email to that address, the Google+ section to the right of the message immediately found out that this gmail address is associated to a person’s google+ profile which has a public profile picture and showed it there. I understand that its pretty smart, however, consider if google+ wasn’t integrated in such a creepy way, my friend would have just sent the email and everyone would have lived happily ever after.

Another incidence which is a bit more sensitive than the one above happened with me. I am currently trying to find a girl to get married. The process involves sending my matrimonial bio data to perspective matches. A few weeks back I was sending it to an email address and immediately after the email was sent, I could see the girl’s picture in the google+ section. Typically, in these processes, people are not comfortable sharing their pictures unless they find the profile of the other person suitable. And I am the kind of person who respects such preferences. I understand that she might have made her profile picture public. And even though it gives you the right to display it anywhere, displaying it anywhere will certainly not be appreciated. There are certain things like basic courtesy and decency, and frankly, I felt that the system crossed a line on my behalf in this case.

What you need to understand is that ignorance is bliss. Had I gone to google+ and searched for that user using the email address and found the picture, it would have totally been my creepiness. The fact that the system did this for me, even though I never asked it to do so, creeps me out.

We already have Google search to hunt for needle in the haystack. We don’t need google+ to invade people’s privacy on our behalf.

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