Google+ to allow users to keep gender in profiles private

Users of Google's new social networking service Google+ have so far been asked to reveal their gender as part of their public profiles. But it seems that privacy concerns from its users have made Google take a second look at that stance. Late on Tuesday night, a Google+ post from Google team member Frances Haugen announced that sometime later this week Google+ users will be able to keep their gender private if they choose to do so.

In announcing the decision on Tuesday Haugen said that Google felt that having users announce their gender would make communicating to those users easier. However if users still wish to keep their gender private they would be addressed differently by Google than if their gender became public. More info about Google's thoughts about gender and its use in Google+ can be seen in the video shown below this news post.

One big thing about having a Google+ page keep its gender info private is that it allows businesses and organizations to establish Google+ pages without having to deal with the somewhat awkward establishment of a gender for that business. So far businesses like Ford have indeed established Google+ pages even though Google itself has warned that the current set up is for individuals. Google has promised to launch a version of Google+ specifically for businesses and organizations later this year.

In related news Google has announced that it will add an address book uploader feature to Google+ sometime "over the next few days".

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To the people who didnt watch the video: Frances is a female if you find the person on Google+ and their gender is showing up.

I'd just like to sign in, but it tells me i'm too young. What the hell is going on in there if i'm too delicate to handle it at the age of 36?????

Is this really a big deal? Like someone who doesn't know you can't figure out your gender by looking at your name or your picture?

When can we make our pictures private as well? Profile Pictures and a random album can't be changed to Private. Plus, I deselected allowing people to search for me, yet my profile shows up in google search.

Dinggus said,
When can we make our pictures private as well? Profile Pictures and a random album can't be changed to Private. Plus, I deselected allowing people to search for me, yet my profile shows up in google search.

my profile can't be searched, but I set that option BEFORE google+ came alive (from the old "google profiles"). maybe it takes longer to change the setting now?


+1 on the make pictures private. it's not that I want to hide it per se, but it's extremely easy to save somebody elses picture and set it as yours, so I think I deserve to control who can see the picture

Julius Caro said,

my profile can't be searched, but I set that option BEFORE google+ came alive (from the old "google profiles"). maybe it takes longer to change the setting now?


+1 on the make pictures private. it's not that I want to hide it per se, but it's extremely easy to save somebody elses picture and set it as yours, so I think I deserve to control who can see the picture

The other pictures that are public are the ones that are placed in your Info about you section.

Julius Caro said,

my profile can't be searched, but I set that option BEFORE google+ came alive (from the old "google profiles"). maybe it takes longer to change the setting now?


+1 on the make pictures private. it's not that I want to hide it per se, but it's extremely easy to save somebody elses picture and set it as yours, so I think I deserve to control who can see the picture

The other pictures that are public are the ones that are placed in your Info about you section.

All this is a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. I have no problem with the gender being kept private, but I don't see the point at all. My name is David. Keeping my gender private is idiotic. There are no females named David...or Steve...Bill....James....Edward....Andrew.......

UncleSpellbinder said,
There are no females named David...or Steve...Bill....James....Edward....Andrew.......
Don't be so sure. And what of Sam, Harper, George, Jesse, etc. ?

Eberton Sobreira said,
And... What is the purpose of hiding the gender ??

So that pervs do not bother Woman/men who don't want to be bothered with constant invites. Duh! and also if its a business account no gender needed.

gtxvortex said,
So that pervs do not bother Woman/men who don't want to be bothered with constant invites. Duh!
Except that with Google+ there is no request system. It's more like twitter in that if you want to follow someone then you can, you don't need their permission.

Eberton Sobreira said,
And... What is the purpose of hiding the gender ??
Conversely, what's the purpose of showing it, when basically everything else can be hidden?

Well... I think that GENDER should be different than SEXUAL ORIENTATION. Talking about gender, you can be a MALE or FEMALE only.

Aghares said,
Well... I think that GENDER should be different than SEXUAL ORIENTATION. Talking about gender, you can be a MALE or FEMALE only.

Or tranny

Aghares said,
Well... I think that GENDER should be different than SEXUAL ORIENTATION. Talking about gender, you can be a MALE or FEMALE only.

Gender isn't black and white -- it's a broad spectrum of color. There are a lot of people who don't present themselves as either male or female -- they may not want to be defined by gender at all.

Sex isn't black and white either; you may be surprised at how many people are born with ambiguous genitalia.

Having the "other" option is great for people who don't identify as either male or female, but unless there is an option for "prefer not to say", your average person who just wants privacy is going to choose the "other" option and be lumped in with those people who are actually express their gender as something other than male or female.

In short, you'd be lumping two different groups of people together and it would be confusing and take away from those who truly identify as "other".

Liana said,

Gender isn't black and white -- it's a broad spectrum of color. There are a lot of people who don't present themselves as either male or female -- they may not want to be defined by gender at all.

Sex isn't black and white either; you may be surprised at how many people are born with ambiguous genitalia.

Having the "other" option is great for people who don't identify as either male or female, but unless there is an option for "prefer not to say", your average person who just wants privacy is going to choose the "other" option and be lumped in with those people who are actually express their gender as something other than male or female.

In short, you'd be lumping two different groups of people together and it would be confusing and take away from those who truly identify as "other".


Yeah, i know it all... but it would be better if there was a "gender" field, where you place your real sex (the way you born), and a field where you define yourself as hetero, homo or bissexual (or any other definition). That's what I meant. If a lesbian like to introduce herself as a guy, she (or he) would never be found by other lesbian searching for other girls. To separate the real gender and the sexual orientation would be better for the filters, and make it easier to find people.

Aghares said,
Well... I think that GENDER should be different than SEXUAL ORIENTATION. Talking about gender, you can be a MALE or FEMALE only.
If g+ is privacy concerned then why cant you keep your gender hidden too, including from those who work for google ?

Liana said,

Gender isn't black and white -- it's a broad spectrum of color. There are a lot of people who don't present themselves as either male or female -- they may not want to be defined by gender at all.

Sex isn't black and white either; you may be surprised at how many people are born with ambiguous genitalia.

Having the "other" option is great for people who don't identify as either male or female, but unless there is an option for "prefer not to say", your average person who just wants privacy is going to choose the "other" option and be lumped in with those people who are actually express their gender as something other than male or female.

In short, you'd be lumping two different groups of people together and it would be confusing and take away from those who truly identify as "other".

The ambiguous genitalia argument is as much a valid perspective on development as a triple nipple argument or being born with too many/few fingers. I've always been confused by how every developmental abnormality is considered a birth 'defect' except for sex, where it's all magically part of the broad spectrum of the universe's intent. What would count as a genital birth defect, then, I wonder?

It's a simple matter of how the species works that there is, at some basic level, male and female. It's a matter of chromosomes. While other things on top of that are intriguing and fun to talk about, it doesn't change the simple fact that XY is male, regardless of how they 'feel inside'.

And frankly, I always despised that argument anyway. If gender roles are meaningless and expectations from the sexes are sexist, how come 'feeling' like the other gender isn't perceived as equally sexist? If you're male but everything about you 'inside' feels feminine, why can't you just be a feminine male? Why must your personal interpretation of gender roles manifest itself between your legs?

Ah well. It's probably one of those arguments that would never go anywhere.

Joshie said,
The ambiguous genitalia argument is as much a valid perspective on development as a triple nipple argument or being born with too many/few fingers.
The issue is that it's more complex than having an easily discernible extra finger [which itself varies wildly] - it can present very ambiguously, to the point where sometimes it's pretty much down to the toss of a coin. Ones gender is not based solely on whether you are XY or XX (which are not the only possibilities in any case).

In any case, it is a complex area, and there will never be a clear cut 'solution'. I very much doubt more than a few would put their sexual orientation on a public profile though - besides it being very private info, it can easily attract problems.

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,
so now I can keep people from knowing my business is male!

its pretty bad that you have to put your gender in .. dont people realize they just want everyones data to advertise better.. If you change the privacy, google will still know and will advertise accordingly. On most other sites you dont need to put in anything

Gah, what's wrong with words? 2mins 18seconds wasted when I could have read what she's said in 20 seconds. Video's don't get indexed, c'mon google, we love text!

dancedar said,
Gah, what's wrong with words? 2mins 18seconds wasted when I could have read what she's said in 20 seconds. Video's don't get indexed, c'mon google, we love text!

They do when people use Nexidia's products!!!!!

Neobond said,
Business pages.. yay!

They already stated they won't be allowing business pages right now. They have a whole portion they will be rolling out for businesses on G+.