Yahoo faces privacy test with new e-mail features

Jun 02, 2010 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc. is hoping to turn on a new sharing option in its popular e-mail service without shocking users who prize their privacy.

That's why the Internet company is advising its 280 million e-mail accountholders to review their along with their incoming messages.

Yahoo posted the privacy reminder this week as it prepares to unveil new features that will share its e-mail users' online activities and interests with people listed in their address books unless they take steps to prevent the information from being broadcast. The new sharing tools will be appearing in people's e-mail accounts this month.

Another addition already available in some accounts allows people to use Yahoo's e-mail service as a platform for posting comments on , the Web's top spot for swapping information with family and friends. An e-mail link to Twitter's messaging service is coming this summer.

Yahoo has been testing and talking about these changes for months, but it's treading carefully after seeing both Facebook and Inc. stumble recently when they retooled their services so more personal information would appear on the Web. Some of those changes irked users, privacy watchdogs and lawmakers. The outcry prompted Facebook and Google to develop simpler privacy settings to give people greater control over what gets shared online.

Yahoo is trying to avoid a similar privacy backlash by providing users the opportunity to opt out of the e-mail service's new social features with the click of a button. The company also is promising not to expose a person's e-mail contacts to the public, a mistake that Google acknowledged making when it set up a social network called Buzz within its own e-mail service four months ago.

Explore further: Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Privacy group files FTC complaint on Google Buzz

Feb 16, 2010

(AP) -- A privacy watchdog group complained to federal regulators on Tuesday about Google's new Buzz social networking service, saying it violates federal consumer protection law.

Google crowns Facebook king of Internet visits

May 29, 2010

Google on Friday released Web traffic data indicating that Facebook is king when it comes to online visitors despite criticism about privacy at the social-networking service.

Recommended for you

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

5 hours ago

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

20 hours ago

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

Aug 22, 2014

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

How much do we really know about privacy on Facebook?

Aug 22, 2014

The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

Aug 22, 2014

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

Aug 21, 2014

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

User comments : 0