PRIVACY ALERT: Have More Than One GMail Account? You are Exposed!

I don’t use GMail as my primary address, but it’s a very useful service. It’s lean, fast (if you use the old UI) and it’s portable (duh).

My first GMail account was for my personal use, to get notifications about comments to my blog, etc. As I found GMail to be more and more useful, I opened a couple more accounts, to isolate my private life (and GMail account) from my business life. As GMail allows you to send email using a different ‘From’ field and also reply to each incoming email with the address you sent it from, you can simply direct your GMail Notifier at the main account and forget about managing the others. The problems began once I opened an account under an alias, rather than my under my real name.

GMail Talk (or GTalk) allows anyone who knows your email address to talk to you. That’s very nice in theory, but suppose you don’t want the person you’re mailing using an alias to know who you are. Once that person has you in their Talk list, they will now view your full details, but not those that belong to your alias account, but to the account you are using (your real, personal account)!

And best of all – there is no way to turn the bloody thing off! I’ve emailed the GMail team a couple of weeks back and have not heard from them. Mind your step!

(I never asked for anything like this before, but please link to this post, echo it, digg it… anything! This is too important a privacy concern to keep quiet!)


12 thoughts on “PRIVACY ALERT: Have More Than One GMail Account? You are Exposed!

  1. I believe the main issue that you are having is that Gmail includes your main sending address even when you are sending an email for an alias (i.e., it will say an email is from on behalf of It won’t let you hide that you are sending from another email address.
    So far as chatting goes, you can go into you chat settings and mark it as only allowing people that you have explicitly approved to chat with you.

  2. Brian,
    Email is just fine: no ‘on behalf of’s. The only problem is with the chat.
    As for your suggested solution:
    1. Your suggestion works, but not for those who have already conversed with me before setting the option.
    2. I want to use GTalk under my alias. Note that this issue happens even when GTalk is off.

  3. This happened to me a few days ago too – after exchanging several emails with a rather obnoxious person, via my blog’s gmail account (which forwards to my personal gmail) – I see the asshole in my googletalk contact list (I obviously blocked him right away), and today he also shows up in my google reader shared items list, since google added him to my contacts and now thinks he’s my ‘friend’.
    Extremely annoying. argh!

  4. I also use Gmail to receive mail forwarded from my public address. I have also noticed that the gmail address is in “from” header.
    Most email clients would handle things correctly when people reply to my messages. The correct public address would be used. But I have received some messages from people addressed directly to my Gmail address. I would be very nice if Gmail allows an option to completely hides your Gmail address.

  5. hi,
    Gmail /GTalk/ it’s the best service you can get.
    I believe people are working very hard there so we can use the benefits from this FREE service.
    So lets get serious!

  6. I agree, it is a FREE service, and a VERY good one to say the least. Privacy is getting more and more difficult as technology advances faster than humans can think. This privacy issue will someday be solved, but it will change the way we use internet completely. In a good way.

  7. It is extremely interesting for me to read that article. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

  8. can i have more than one gmail account. i created around gmails to make 6 fb login to play maifa wars…is that okay??

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