Google Reader Sparks Users' Anger Over Privacy

'Shared' items become visible to all contacts
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 27, 2007 9:57 AM CST
Google CEO Eric Schmidt gestures during a talk in San Jose, Calif., in this Aug. 9, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A new Google Reader feature that centralizes a user’s favorite blog and web updates is causing an uproar, reports the San Jose Mercury News. Quietly introduced Dec. 14, the feature makes articles marked "shared" visible to all of a user’s contacts—including anyone they’ve ever spoken a word to over Google Talk.

“This is the worst ‘feature’ you have ever introduced,” one reader posted in a Google Group, to much agreement. Google says it intended “transparency” and “user choice” and maintains “shared” has always meant public. One tech expert calls for more user control but also reminds angry users that “when Google says public, Google MEANS public.”