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Google will delete all private profiles on July 31st in a move that aims to add more users to its new Google+ service. Anyone who wants to try Google+ will now need a public profile.
Google+, the company’s latest social networking initiative, gives users a good amount of privacy in that it allows you to set restrictions on which people see what updates. But, much like Twitter, users will have a public presence that can be found using Google+.
Google+’s help section frames the issue this way:
The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity. Today, nearly all Google Profiles are public. We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don’t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public.
Keep in mind that your full name and gender are the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; you’ll be able to edit or remove any other information that you don’t want to share.
If you currently have a private profile but you do not wish to make your profile public, you can delete your profile. Or, you can simply do nothing. All private profiles will be deleted after July 31, 2011.
Another way Google+ helps with managing privacy is that it allows profiles to be omitted from Google search results. To turn off being in search results, go to the bottom on your profile, click “Search visibility”, then un-check “Help others find my profile in search results.”
Google initially announced that it would delete private profiles back in March, but it was unclear just what the purpose of the move was. Now we know it was to create a better template for Google+ users to work off. Anyone who wants the chance to play in the Google+ sandbox will do so in public.
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