Washington: Google is violating a privacy agreement it made with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission by planning to link Gmail addresses to its Google+ social network.
John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog`s Privacy Project director, a long-time critic of Google`s privacy practices in a complaint to the agency, said that a user could be forced to be publicly associated with someone with whom they do not wish to.
Google+ also has a `flagrant and fundamental privacy design flaw` because it allows any user to add other users to his circles without their permission.
According to PC World, Simpson said that people must have the right to choose with whom they are associated, adding that operating a social network as Google is doing in a blatant attempt to build traffic and the user base is an unfair business practice.
Google representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the Consumer Watchdog complaint.
Google earlier this month announced to merge Google+ and Gmail contact lists, allowing a Gmail user to send an unsolicited email message to another user without knowing the second person`s Gmail address, by adding the intended recipient to his Google+ circles.
According to the report, that merger of Google+ and Gmail accounts violates a March 2011 privacy settlement between Google and the FTC over Google Buzz, the company`s failed first social-networking experiment, Consumer Watchdog alleged.