Google Making It Easier to Connect via Email Between Gmail, Google+
Critics, however, say the Gmail and Google+ changes could infringe on users' privacy.Google has unveiled a new feature that will let users communicate via email more easily between their Gmail and Google+ accounts, but some critics say that the changes could be an invasion of privacy. The changes, which will allow Gmail and Google+ users to send an email to another user even when they don't have that user's actual email address, was announced by David Nachum, a Gmail product manager, in a Jan. 9 post on the Official Gmail Blog. "Have you ever started typing an email to someone only to realize halfway through the draft that you haven't actually exchanged email addresses?" wrote Nachum. "If you are nodding your head 'yes' and already have a Google+ profile, then you're in luck, because now it's easier for people using Gmail and Google+ to connect over email. As an extension of some earlier improvements that keep Gmail contacts automatically up to date using Google+, Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients when you are composing a new email." That means that as a sender begins typing the name of a desired contact into the "To" box, a list of contacts starting with the first letter of the name will appear and allow the user to send them a message, according to the post. The sender's email address is only shared with the targeted recipient and the recipient's email address is only shared if he or she agrees to receive the message, the post states.
Gmail users will now find a new tool in their account "Settings" folder that allows them to designate just whom they are willing to share these opportunities with, wrote Nachum. Users can choose to allow anyone to send them such requests for email connections, or only allow people who are in their Google+ Circles or Extended Circles. Users can also choose to not allow anyone to connect with them through the new feature.