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  1. #1
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    How did Google know that?

    Hi there,

    This isn't really a dev-related question so I guess here's as good a place to ask as any. Here goes.

    I've been helping a friend start a site using Google Sites - his idea, wouldn't have been my choice but what the hey. I've got him to grant me full access so I can edit and manage all aspects of the site. However I found that I needed him to authorise me to use a Google Docs spreadsheet that was connected from a contact form on the site. He couldn't figure out how so he gave me his account details (I know) so I could set up the access myself.

    When I did this I entered my Gmail address, and the entry that appeared as a result was identified not by that address, but by a nickname I use on various forums (not this one BTW).

    This troubles me quite a bit. Most of the forums I use this nick on are registered with the same Gmail address, but none of them should be disclosing my address, to Google or anyone else. None of them use OpenID, and I don't use Facebook or any such thing (for exactly this reason!). Of course it'd be easy to make the connection if you could read my mail (as Google can, I suppose) but I've thought about it long and hard and can't see any other way they could make that connection between nickname and address.

    I really don't want anyone I collaborate on a document with (not that that's necessarily going to be a frequent occurrence, but still) to know my identity on all these forums. Can anyone shed light on (a) how Google made this connection and (b) how (if) I can prevent it?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    Are you sure you haven't entered your nickname as the name in your Google account profile? Check it out under the settings.
    Saul

  3. #3
    Keep Moving Forward gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Shaun(OfTheDead)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headbank
    When I did this I entered my Gmail address, and the entry that appeared as a result was identified not by that address
    When you say, "appeared as a result," what do you mean?

    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

    Update on Sitepoint's Migration to Discourse

  4. #4
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    Hi, thanks for the replies. Contrite confession: there is a connection I'd overlooked. I made a post on Google Groups a few years back (it was for a legacy desktop application whose only support channel was Usenet) and used this nick for that. Sorry, it had completely slipped my mind (I never got a reply to the post either )

    I think the link is going to be indelible, because even after deleting that nick from the Groups account settings, it's still attached to the post I made; and repeating the process as before on Docs, it still appears as before. @Shaun[...], just to explain what I meant by that, I was logged into Docs under my friend's account and went into the "Share" settings, where I put my gmail address into the form as a new person to share with. When that setting was applied, my ID appears in the list under that of my friend (who is the document's owner) but instead of my email address, it's captioned with the nickname (the email address is only visible as a tooltip).


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