Thanks to a recent invite from a former coworker of mine I’m able to play with Google+. At its most basic operation, creating a post, I like what I see in terms of security when compared to Facebook. It’s two simple concepts that show the different approach to what gets shared and what doesn’t.
First here is Facebook’s post box:
Now here’s the same portion from Google+.
Quick, who gets to see this post? Who is excluded, if anyone? It is going to my friends and family. Who is excluded? Everyone else. I don’t have to expand that box. I don’t have to mouse over anything. If I am posting something that, for example, my coworkers should not see I know with a glance that they aren’t, or more crucially, are able to see this post.
Furthermore Facebook’s default is to include everyone at a certain level (public or friends) unless excluded. With Google while there an option similar to “Friends”on Facebook (Your Circles) we can select specific circles, everyone else is excluded. This means to send something to friends and family on Google I just add those two circles. On Facebook I have to set it to Friends then exclude all groups I don’t want to see it.
IE, Google+ is opt-in, Facebook is opt-out. It is a subtle difference but as anyone who has filled out a form and had to uncheck “add me to the mailing list” knows, it’s an important one.
Hopefully this is a sign of Google’s take on our privacy. One I hope they will not forget, like Facebook did, as time goes by.