Google has issued a warning to Google+ users that it has begun deleting private profiles, and will be removing them from the social network going forward. Following upon earlier warnings, the online search juggernaut says that as of July 31, any profile that isn’t public is fair game for deletion.
“The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity,” the company explains on its website. “We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don’t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public.”
All users with private profiles will find themselves facing a warning message that gives the option to display their full name publicly going forward, or delete the profile. But those who do pick the former choice can still choose to regulate what information they share, with only their full name displayed for the world’s viewing pleasure.
Although a step towards downgrading online privacy, the number of users affected by these changes remains uncertain, as does actual lasting fallout, given that paranoid schizophrenics can still disguise almost all personal information.