Using Google+ for Google Apps? Your admin has access to all of your data

Using Google+ for Google Apps? Your admin has access to all of your data

Now that Google+ has finally gone live for Google Apps customers, it’s important to note what may be a dealbreaker for some on the privacy front.

If you’re a user of Google+ with a corporate or education Google Apps account, your administrator can access and modify your Google+ account and its postings. This information is pointed out in a Google help center topic related to the new feature:

Because you’re signing up for Google+ with your corporate email address, your Google Apps administrator retains the right to access your Google+ data and modify or delete it at any time.

This notice is also applied to Google Apps for Education customers.

The fact that an administrator has access to your accounts under Google Apps is nothing new, but this is the first time that Google has had a social network among its Apps offerings, so the privacy implications are a bit more severe.

To understand the concept, imagine if your boss were able to access all of your photo albums, posts and conversations on Facebook? Would you be concerned?

At the very least, it seems like this aspect of Google+ for Google Apps would require some attention by corporate policy makers that explains it to employees.

It seems like this positions Google+ for Apps as a purely ‘business-based social network’. This would imply that you should have two different Google+ accounts, one for business and one for your personal life, which seems clunky.

Google does mention that you can export your data if you’d like to transfer it out to a personal account at some point, but it does seem problematic if you’ve been let go or fired and no longer have access to your email account suddenly.

Users can export or transfer their Google+ data using services such as Google Takeout at any time, even if you’ve disabled Google+ for their accounts. This data includes profiles, streams, circles, contacts, and photos.”

Clearly there are some idiosyncrasies about the way that Google+ for Google Apps works, you should probably consider the implications before firing up an account under your corporate account.

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