Taking back control, how Google+ Gmail integration could actually offer better privacy control

When Google announced a new feature that allows a Google+ user to email you if you are also on Google+, a lot of bloggers and tech site were reporting that this could be a privacy concern. From the outset you can see where they are coming from. Someone can email you without actually using an email address. But actually thinking about it this could actually improve privacy and actually allows you to take back control.

The problem with email is that you cannot control who sends you email. If someone has your email address or guesses your email they can spam you anytime they want. They could sell your email address on to companies and they can do the same thing. It is why there are Spam blockers and is why all email providers who offer Spam filter are actually reading your email. Basically when your email address is known you have no control on who can send you things.

Google+ could actually help you control this a bit better. According to their support page, https://support.google.com/mail/answer/3294854 if you receive an email form someone outside of your circle then you actually block them and that user will not have an option to email you again. If this person is malicious then you can report them. But the main advantage is that this person would not be able to sell on your email address for other people to mass spam you, unless they sign up to multiple Google+ accounts and manually try and email you as there is no API to do this (currently).

I do think it is early days and there are still flaws with the service (default setting should be that only people within your circles can send you emails) but it is an interesting way of looking at how it can improve your email experience.

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