questionshow do you feel about "google to merge user data…

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you still have an active google+ account?????

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I'm googling how to delete my Google+ account without deleting my gmail acct. Ironic.

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@mellielou: BTDT. It's complicated. I'm commenting here, now, so I'll remember this for tomorrow. If no one has provided the accurate answer, I'll step in. I'm just frazzled with other things right now.

For those that care, I do remind you that not only does google crawl your email, it crawled the "trash folder" and the "spam folder" as well.

Yes, my dears, Der GOOG wants to know who sends you spam, and what kind of spam it is.

They insisted I use a real name. I insisted this was my real name, packed my bags, and left. At one time I had three G+ accounts (because), and all of them are gone now. In past, I had more than 20 Gmail accounts. I'm down to four, and one of those just needs me to sever one last, long term connection, and it'll be gone too.

The other three I'll never give up.

Hey, Google. Merge this.

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It sucks, and I hate the idea of so much information about me being held in one place, but I think it was inevitable.

Everything google does is to collect as much information about you as possible so they can sell you to advertisers for the most effective targeted adds. The better profile of you they can make, the easier it is to sell. Still creeps me out, especially from a company who's motto was (maybe still is?) "don't be evil"

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@panthiest: if you're evil, would you select a motto that stated "Be Evil"?

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@kamikazeken: I think I'd try to avoid the word evil completely when making my motto.

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One ring to bind them all ...

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I'm surprised it wasn't done much earlier or possibly they just let you think that way..

yni yni
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I am a bit of a google fan so I don't see a problem with this. I think the most dangerous thing google is going to do is target ads towards you. Which to me sounds awesome. If I'm gonna see an add I'd rather see one that's relevant to me than one that's not.

If they were selling my info to a 3rd party I'd be worried but I don't thing Google is in that business.

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It's just plain scary to me and makes me think of the old adage: "Power corrupts, absolute power currupts absolutely."

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Sort of getting Orwellian in a way, isn't it? Can anyone say Big Brother?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

They have the search engine with growing world wide dominance. Could potentially survey your movements if you have one of their devices with GPS. Censorship of search results based on the will of certain countries. Working on their own monetary system, Google Money. They want in your living room with Google TV. They want you to use Google Phone to talk to each other............

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Do you know how much your information is worth? Even if it's anonymous data, the value is huge.

Not only G is merging our data but also banks, clinics, Wal-Mart, ISP... everyone.

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I'm not really sure (mostly because I haven't read much about it yet) that this is a big deal. Google already has this data in one form or another, why wouldn't you want all your accounts to have your info? If they are connected in that you can access each from another, why have them have different data? I mean I understand the idea of not wanting your info all over the internet and that you have to be careful who you allow to have that info but Google already has it...if it makes sense for them to store all the data about John Smith in the same file instead of John Smith-gmail, John Smith-g+, I'm not sure I have a problem with it. Can someone explain to me the facts that I may be missing?

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Google does indeed sell your information to third parties. In some cases, those third parties are well known. In some cases, they've simply purchased the third parties, so as to make it, shall we say, less conspicuous. A noted third party is DoubleClick (although they quit being a third party quite some time ago).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DoubleClick

I'm not going to go into great detail here, but please do NOT think that there's anything good about this. Google is in the business of making money. Fine with me. I own Google stock, and I prefer that the price continue to rise. I am in the business of protecting my privacy, and use a browser to access Google that I use for almost nothing but Google related items. In addition, the only Gmail accounts I maintain have no personal information in them.

I had actually left some (slightly) personal information on Orkut, so I was grateful for this reminder. Fixed it.

It's all about the benjamins. It always was.

So it goes.

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@mellielou: As promised, I return with the information.

First, select the link for Account Settings which should take you here (you must be logged in to use this link, folks).

https://accounts.google.com/ManageAccount?hl=en

You will see various options under "Personal Settings" including the option to delete your profile (it may have changed, and specifically say delete your G+ profile; I last did this on November 30, 2011). Before you delete things, you should look at the "information google has" about you.

https://www.google.com/dashboard/?hl=en&pli=1

This will be eye-opening in a way you may not be prepared for. Just pointing it out. Hey, at least they're telling you, right?

You may or may not have additional work to do before you delete your profile, including "Authorizing applications & sites" (delete them ALL), and do not EVER use their two-step verification. Please trust me in this.

[There's ALWAYS more]

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@mellielou: [Continued]

If anyone has ever shared documents with you, there's nothing you can do to get them off your account. That link stays.

Once you have deleted your profile, be sure to go back and remove all those "extra" contacts that are listed that are only there because you've added people into your circles. Be ruthless on your contacts in any case; I keep very few accounts as contacts. On my gmail account, I have 65 official contacts, and I do not permit Gmail to add any.

Then again, I am planning to pop the email from the last two working accounts I have, and then only log in once a day to clean out the "Trash" and "Spam" folders. You may not have this option.

When it's Free, there are Always strings attached.

I trust Woot with my personal data more than Google. Know why? I give them money for stuff, and they're motivated to protect me. I have no illusions on this, just pointing it out.

So it goes.

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@chellemonkey: I run my own mail servers. This option is not available to many people, and I recognize that.

I have email addresses from sites that I have hosted on a service (that I pay for), and I also have local machines that I use, and further email addresses available on them. I have at least 30 separate accounts that I pay attention to, and (including the four gmail accounts I've mentioned, three of which I'll keep), I read on a daily basis (or more) fifteen email accounts. I monitor the others on a weekly basis.

I look at my one Yahoo account, and the Gmail accounts, every morning. Once of the gmail accounts forwards to one of my servers, so I see all email to that within an hour of it posting. One of my gmail accounts is tied to my android phone. Obviously, I see email sent to that on a regular basis during the day (but most of it is filtered by "label" and I only see it if I'm looking at the browser).

Probably more info than you wanted, and zero of it helpful to you. :-(

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@shrdlu: As always, thank you so much!! Your insight and advice is very much appreciated :)

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Thank you, @shrdlu. One small addition.

I've always thought that "You get what you pay for" is a rather stupid cliche, since there are many, many examples of people not getting what they've paid for.

I much prefer "You don't get what you don't pay for," in part because it is much more realistic, but also because it is a good basis for healthy paranoia.

If Google is willing to give me email, search, mapping, street view, navigation, and dozens of other services without taking any money from me, I'd be a fool to think that they aren't getting paid by me for these serivces in some other manner. And considering how profitable Google is, they are clearly getting quite a bit more than what the services actually cost to provide.

Like @shrdlu, I run my own mail servers. That doesn't mean I don't use the free offerings from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others, but I'm not stupid enough to think that I'm not paying for these "free" services, and I do my best to minimize that payment.

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@thedogma: That was entertaining for me, but not in the way you expected. First off, that article uses one of those URL shorteners, which make sense on Twitter, but not on a web site. It just takes you to Google Ads Preferences, which you can go directly to via your browser, when logged in. Of course, I see a slightly different page than you did.

http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/html/blocked-cookies.html

snicker Silly google. You can't have cookies. I'm on a google diet.

BTW, search works just fine without them, as long as you either use someone else to wrap google searches (I do), or tolerate google instant (I don't). Now, you can choose to not have ads directed at you via a simple setting when you're logged in (I did this long ago), and while it doesn't change what they know about you, it does keep it from being used in targeted ads.

I may be back later with links to show how you can actually see the data they've collected, which is not just ad related. EFF FTW

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I've thought about this for quite a bit, and have now fired up the charger for my Blackberry. I'm done. I'll be switching back to my blackberry, sometime next week.