I just got an email from my good friend Mike who forwards my snail mail. Here is the relevant part of it:
I got this message in my inbox this morning:
Your contact David Heath (email@example.com) joined Google+
I have gotten a whole flock of these lately, which I have been ignoring. Two of them were from W and E, so I wrote them asking what it was. W wrote back indicating that he hadn’t joined, or asked me to join. Actually, W had essentially no idea what Google+ was.
Do you know anything about it?
Well, I think I know what it wants to be. It is trying to replace Facebook. And moral fiber is not included in their business plan.
A few days ago, at a meeting about computers here in the Marina, one of the experts said that Google+ and Google groups and related things from Google have a very bad reputation. Many say that when you join it, it goes through your contact list and sends advertisements to everyone on your contact list. These may be advertisements to join, or fraudulent claims that Dave recommends such and such product. But Dave knows nothing about it.
This morning, I was logging into my Gmail on the computer that I don’t use for that purpose very often, and it appeared to me that a screen came up like the one I occasionally get saying that, ’We do not recognize this computer and could you confirm some information?’ As is often the case, I was in a hurry and did not read it very carefully. The information looked correct.
However when I clicked on the ‘continue’ and expected to now be in my Gmail account, I got a page welcoming me to Google+. That really upset me and I spent the next several hours trying to figure out how the hell you sign out of Google+. By the way. Their help pages tell you everything in the world except how to close your account. I eventually found it but it was a battle.
I think I have gotten out, but unfortunately, a nanosecond after I pushed the ‘continue’ button, they probably had already sucked up my entire contact list and address book. And that kind of toothpaste is not going back into the tube.
I sent them several nasty emails, but I doubt if they care a hoot.
I apologize to everyone of you for my mistake. They tricked me fair and square. But, in less than that 10 seconds, I went from really liking Google and all of the wonderful things they have done, to thinking that they are dishonest, moneygrubbing scum. Actually, that is not a fair statement. Pond scum is actually a very useful organism. Not at all like the people at Google.
I think some people do honestly like Google+ and since I know essentially nothing about it, I’m not giving them a fair shake. But Mike’s email confirms my fears.
Gmail already handles my address book and contacts list. So it is only a matter of faith that one hopes that they will not use it for bad purposes. At the moment it looks like that faith is unjustified. It will be interesting if I really have signed out of that plan. And what sort of lies they will tell and for how long.
My mistake. I should have read more carefully.
Several times in the last two weeks I’ve gone to comment or answer a question on a website and it says you will need to login. It is free and all you have to do is click this or that to login through your Facebook account, or Twitter, etc. But, before I did that, I noticed that further down the page it said that in doing so, I would be giving this Joe Blow website my complete friends list or contact list or address book.* That scared the heck out of me and I did not do it any of those previous times. But Google+ fooled me. We live in complicated times.
*PS: I include the following link that supports my opinion. HOWEVER!!!! I think that if you comment, it will suck up you address book, just like I described above. I believe it to be safe to read, but do not reply, comment, etc and do not click the Facebook Icon, etc., at the bottom.
I added this part on 22 November 2013.
I sent emails similar to the above post to the several people that had invited me to Google+. Every single one of them, was not aware that they had done so. They did not belong to Google+ nor wanted to. This confirms my grim view of how sinister Google has become. If anyone knows of a class-action lawsuit against them, related to stealing my contact information and sending emails claiming that they are from me, please let me know. To me that is lying of one of the worst types, immoral, and I certainly hope that it is illegal.
Is another article about these disgusting practices. Stay safe.