Friday Poll: Does Google's Search Plus add up?

Some will surely view the new, more personalized search feature as a nice way to easily find posts and photos on a given topic from friends and acquaintances. But not everyone is happy about Search Plus. What are your early thoughts?

Google+ screenshot
Screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Were you googling for CES 2012 gadgets this week? If so, you might have spotted Google's new Search Plus feature, which automatically includes comments and photos from your Google+ and Picasa networks--unless you opt out.

Some will surely view the feature, which launched this week , as a nice way to easily find posts and photos on a given topic from friends and acquaintances. But not everyone is happy about Search Plus.

Yesterday, the Electronic Privacy Information Center asked regulators to investigate whether the new feature violates federal antitrust rules and poses privacy concerns.

At issue, from EPIC's perspective, is whether the more personalized search violates a Google/FTC settlement reached last year. That agreement stemmed from Google's now-defunct Google Buzz social network and requires Google to make new features opt-in if they provide additional sharing of certain types of private information.

EPIC says it thinks Google+ users wouldn't reasonably expect their posts, presumably even the ones set to be viewed by the public, to pop up in Google search. Also, as with other social-networking features that have raised the ire of privacy advocates, EPIC maintains that people shouldn't have to hassle with the whole opting-out thing.

So, Google+ users, aside from EPIC's questions surrounding the legality of Search Plus, how do you feel about the new feature? Is it a great tool for furthering your social networking? A privacy pain in the patootie? Somewhere in between? Vote in our poll, and be sure to share your additional thoughts below.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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