When I clicked on the link that said Results from people in your social circle for google social search it took me to a page that was just content from my Social Circle. I was a little disturbed by this. First I do not want search results from my Social Circle, whatever that means, I want it from everybody. Secondly, where are they getting this information? How did Google know who is in my Social Circle?
So like a good little librarian I started digging. I went back to the page initial page and clicked on the link for My social circle.
This took me too a page with a list of names that make up my Social Circle . There were a LOT of names on that list. But how did they get there?
There doesn’t seem to be a way to simply add or remove a person either. Google seems to know everywhere I’m connected to these people. Even places I didn’t know or remember I was connected with them.
Frankly I’m creeped out. I do not remember giving Gmail permission to go through my contacts and correlate them to other sites.
Since I’m not interesting in Social Search I started looking for a way to turn it off. Guess what? There isn’t one.
The only option to not see Social Circle search results is to log out of the Google account (or avoid having a single direct connection linked to the account). – ghacks.net
Even more disturbing to me is I can’t find much of anyone talking about the privacy issues. Yes I know this information is already available on the internet, it’s the idea of someone or some company compiling it all in one place. There is a big difference between it being scattered out there willy nilly and someone collecting an analyzing it.
It does not work the way the original video demonstration said it would. It claims you can remove a network like Twitter. Where? I deleted my Google Profile after all the Buzz brouhaha so I haven’t had one for a while now.
Another early video states you can block your chat list, where?
On my Social Content page it says there is 0 content from my Google profile (because I don’t have one?) Yet on my Social Circle page it tells me there are 145 contacts from links listed on my Google profile. What profile?
According to Google’s Social Search Features page:
You control who is part of your circle. If you want to add or remove someone from your social circle, here are your options:
- Add or remove the person from the social networks linked to your Google profile
- Add or remove links on your Google profile
- Add or block the person in your Gmail chat contact list
- Add or remove the person from your Friends, Family, or Coworkers groups in your Google contacts
If someone you don’t know shows up in your social search results, it’s likely that they’re connected to someone you do know. For example, if you’re following someone on Twitter, and that person is following five other people, those five other people are also included in your social circle. To see where each connection comes from, view the text on the search results page that says “Connected through [person] on [service].”
Again I don’t have a Google profile so where do I go to remove these links?
Frankly, this maybe the thing that finally drives me away from Google. Maybe there is a way to opt out, to turn it off, but I sure couldn’t find it. It seems like the Buzz fiasco all over again but worse. This time no one is paying attention.
- Google’s Creepy Social Search
- Privacy: Why Google Social Search Gives Me The Creeps
- Google Social Search: A New Node in the Personal Learning Network
- Google Social Circle Now Appearing In Search Results
- Search is getting more social
- Google Social Search Goes Live, Adds New Features
- Social Search demonstration YouTube video from Google
- How Google Social Search works YouTube video from Google