Although Google spends a great deal of time updating and improving the general functionality of its wide range of products and services, often, the search giant comes through with some nifty customization features. Fairly soon, your Google+ profile will be the subject of deeper integration with your Android smartphone, becoming the profile picture seen by those who call, and so long as you’ve gone through the process of verifying your phone number in the first place, anybody ringing you will see your Google+ image.
Google’s Attila Bodis today shared the news, and since the process is automated, many individuals will begin to see their phone books filling up with pictures of contacts as of early next year. It’s certainly a great deal easier than having to obtain an image of somebody and apply it to their contact details, and once again brings a slight, but notable improvement to the Android infrastructure as a whole.
Since the process seems to be auto-enroll in nature, there will no doubt be few objections to this system. After all, all it would take is for somebody to obtain your phone number, and from there, they would then be able to see your face / Google+ picture without you explicitly offering such permission.
Since it won’t begin rolling out until early 2014, there’s plenty of time for open debate, and since Google is very good at listening to consumer feedback, perhaps the automatic nature of the new feature might be revised as we tick over for next year.
Those not looking to share their Google+ profile image do not have to connect their account with their phone number, and can put an end to it by disabling the “help people who have your phone number find you on Google services and connect with you” option in Google Account Settings. Nevertheless, when it does roll out and some unwitting folks realize what is happening, it’s almost inevitable that there’ll be some kind of backlash.
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What do you think – should Google offer consumers ample warning before simply dropping this new, potentially privacy-compromising feature? Or is the onus on the consumer to remain aware of the data they are, or could be, potentially sharing with others?
(Source: Attila Bodis [Google+])