THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — A confused understanding of Google app following it’s integration with the Android operating system resulted in a trans woman unwillingly being outed at work, or so says Google.
In this case, during the usage of a chat feature, the woman’s male name got disclosed to a co-worker.
While the unnamed trans woman is still trying to work things out with her employer, Google is facing increased complaints that they are dismissive of privacy errors triggered by upgrades and other changes.
Transgender issues with Google began the day Google+ was launched. They did not allow users to use anything but their “real” names. If enough people in your user circle questioned your profile to Google, your account was suspended and you were asked to provide documentation to match the username. Reports say that Google has since backed off from that policy and now allows “established identities”. [Note: I have do not know if this is true. The last time I checked, it was not.] As a result, Google+ was primarily trans-unfriendly and for many trans people, it was mostly stealth mode on Google+.
What seems apparent now is that Google is aiming for one username for most (all?) Google/Android platforms that a person uses. Indeed, Google’s VP Bradley Horowitz said back in 2012: “It’s important to remember that when you change your name in Google+, you’re changing it across all services that require a Google profile.”
“Google profile”? What does this mean? Does this includes one’s Google home page, Google wireless phone, Gmail, Google+, Google store/play, mobile wireless account — many users have different names. If one upgrades an app or make a profile change, will they get outed? I don’t know, neither do many savvy net and app users. The answers must be made plainly clear to users. The last thing we need to worry about is Google unwillingly outing us.
Google, remember your motto: Don’t Be Evil.
Tip of the hat to: Erin Renae Burdick
Categories: Transgender, Transsexual, Trans