Privacy concern with Google Contacts

When setting up a personal domain on GMail this week, I encountered an interesting “feature” of the integration with Google Contacts and Google Talk.

Google Apps automatically adds all domain users to the Contacts list for all users.

If you’re setting up a mail system for a company, that’s OK. But if you’re doing it for random subscribers or such, it becomes a privacy issue if people have these strangers on their contacts list and in their Google Talk instant messenger.

If you wish to disable this feature, you should do so before you create any user accounts. To disable it, click on Users & Groups, then Settings then Disable contact sharing. As it says, this does not affect any existing contacts lists thus if you have already created some user accounts, you’ll need to delete and recreate them.

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