One danger of linking your YouTube and Google accounts?

A hypothetical situation here, between two Gmail users (I don’t use Gmail, so you know this is hypothetical).
   User 1 is in to some sick stuff and has been watching it on YouTube, using an alias for his YouTube account name. However, his account is linked to his Google account.
   User 2 is a regular Joe, who also has a YouTube account connected to his Google account,
   User 1 sends User 2 an email from Gmail. User 2 is then asked by Google to connect with User 1 on YouTube.
   By default, User 1 hasn’t turned off his history. User 2 visits YouTube and sees his contact’s link on the home page. He clicks through to see what else he has in common and discovers his friend has some very strange favourites chosen.
   User 2 really didn’t need to know that about User 1.
   We can make this a lot worse. Let’s say User 1 is a Member of Parliament. Or a celebrity.
   I won’t ask whether the above scenario is possible as it is based on fact, the wording modified to protect the people involved. I also have a limited understanding of Gmail. As I can no longer log in to YouTube, I can’t confirm the above scenario for myself with my own friends, but I have no doubt this is how things play out on linked YouTube–Google accounts.
   But I know this much: for those who don’t want to connect your YouTube and Google accounts, good. You might be part of a growing club. And if you happen to be in to some odd things, your privacy is preserved.

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3 thoughts on “One danger of linking your YouTube and Google accounts?

  1. These scenarios are very real, and not just limited to the above.

    Imagine when (and I believe MS Messenger may already be linking via LiveSpaces) this happens:

    User 1 is a doctor who has patients in his address book.
    User 2,3 -> n are patients

    User 2 is contacted by the service with a variation of “Seeing as you know User 1, you probably would like to be friends with User 2^n”

    I have nothing to hide, and yet I do not want my contacts shared.
    Its bad enough being constantly harassed by FaceBook via users who have uploaded their entire address book, and when no match is found it suggests repeatedly I sign up.

  2. Thank you, Sam, for this additional scenario—something similar happened to a woman with Google Buzz and her abusive ex-husband managed to locate her.
       Like you, I have nothing to hide, but what I watch really is my business, and my contacts’ details are definitely private.

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