Google has announced plans to allow Gmail email addresses of Google+ users to be visible to other users via their email platform.
The changes would mean that any Google+ user could contact any other Google+ user directly to and from their respective Gmail accounts, without any form of prior contact or consent from the recipient. The sender could search for any name and all relevant Google+ users would appear as if they were saved contacts.
Google claims that the new feature will make connecting with friends easier, however many have expressed concerns surrounding security. Google have reassured users that their email addresses will not be initially visible unless they respond to a message they’ve received, however the fact that unknown contacts will be able to make contact in the first place also raises concerns that the new feature could be used for spam or phishing attacks.
New Gmail accounts are automatically given a Google+ profile unless the user opts out, this means that potentially all Gmail accounts across the world could be contactable.