Google Groups Privacy Issues

First the bad news :-( then the good news :-)

The bad news is that even if you do not create a Google “Profile”:

  1. Information about messages you post to PUBLIC Google Groups can be viewed by ANYONE on the internet.  If you have an email address that identifies you, eg. like mine, then anyone can identify me as the author of my messages.
  2. As a member of a PRIVATE Google Group, like the Ukes Group, other members can easily access this information if you post a message to the group.  They will not see information about posts you have made to other private groups, but they will be able to see your posts to public groups.
  3. Originally, I set the Ukes Group access so that all members could see who the other members are.  However, this means that any member can also see information about posts to public Google Groups, and this might be more information than you were expecting to share!  I have therefore changed this setting and you will not be able to see who the other members are until they post a message.

The GOOD NEWS is that there is an easy way around this privacy problem.

This is it: only use the Google Account associated with your Ukes Group email address for posting to the Ukes Group and other private groups. Do not use it for posting to any public groups.  It is that easy.

If you only have one email address, and if perhaps you have already used it to post to public groups you would rather not disclose, there are easy ways to get other email addresses, and to make them deliver messages to your regular email address.

  • If you would like a new email address to use just for the Ukes Google Group, please let me know and I will sent you an invitation to have a Gmail account.
  • Alternatively, you could us an email-redirection service (useful for spam-dodging) such as Gish Puppy: http://www.gishpuppy.com

You will have to log-in to Google Groups using the weird and wonderful email address that Gish Puppy will create for you, but it will work.

Using either of the above methods you can then, if you wish, also create a Group Profile, safe in the knowledge that this information will stay within the Ukes Group and it will not  be available  across the internet – as long as you only use that email address Google Account for the Ukes Group and other private groups and do not go posting to PUBLIC Google Groups while logged in to that account.

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