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Google+ capitalises on privacy concerns to compete with social network rival Facebook

Warwick Ashford

Google is aiming to compete against social networking rivals by adopting a tougher line on privacy, which has long been one of the most controversial aspects of the service provided by Facebook.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman at Google, say privacy is a key differentiator in the search company's latest social networking product Google+, according to the Financial Times.

Google+ is not a Facebook knock-off and has a different view and way of handling of privacy, he told reporters at the Allen & Co media conference in Sun Valley.

The privacy defaults are different, he said, alluding to Facebook's much-criticised approach of enabling content-sharing by default.

Eric Schmidt said Circles, a feature on Google+ that enables users to select specific groups of people to share information with, would be incorporated into other products, such as Gmail and Buzz.

Schmidt said identity was another key element of Google Plus, and he believes the service could become one of the main identity systems for the web.

Lack of identity is an important issue on the internet, Schmidt said, and a strong and clear identity could enable a lot more features and services.

Google plans to use the identity element of Google+ to provide a new level of personalisation across all Google's online products and services.

"We're trying to use the identity infrastructure provided by Google+ to make the Google products really interesting," said Schmidt.


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