Digital Insights

Google Docs Changes Sharing and Privacy Options


Published: June 8, 2010

by Jolie O’Dell

In the immediate aftermath of a slew of new upgrades, Google Docs is changing how we share and control privacy for our documents, presentations and other stored files.

The changes are intended to make sharing and collaboration simpler while also letting users see at a glance what people have access to which documents. Now, the level of privacy or publicity a document has is more readily visible, which should make managing who can share your docs a lot easier.

Now, you can take any document you have stored on Google Docs and designate it with one of three sharing/privacy settings. The doc can be private and viewable only by you. It can also be viewable by anyone with a link; a Google rep compared this option to giving someone an unlisted phone number. Or the document can be completely public and viewable by anyone.

Public documents will also be indexed by search engines, so make sure your public docs are something you’d want the whole world to see. It’s also important to note that the default setting for new docs you create will be private.

Along with these sharing and privacy changes, Google Docs’ sharing features are getting a cleaner interface and the ability to reset the doc’s URL (i.e. changing your unlisted phone number, to reference the previous metaphor) and to make bulk changes to multiple documents’ settings.

Here are a couple demo/tutorial videos to quickly explain the changes.

These changes should be visible to most Google Docs users within a week or so.

What do you think so far? Will these changes make it easier to share the docs you want to share and let your personal info remain private?


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