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Google gives Voice users ability to not share their messages

Why wouldn't you want your voicemail indexed?

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Google was forced into some quick tweaking of Google Voice last month after users spotted that transcripts of voicemail messages were being served up in search results.

An alert user spotted what is clearly an oversight by the firm whose global mission is to index everything that moves. Or doesn't move.

The service allows users to "share" their messages, but the questioneer was irked to find transcripts of Voice messages turning up in search results.

The questioner hit Google's own help forum to ask "Why are voicemail messages searchable?!? This appears to be a serious privacy breach which is alarming at best."

Google wonk Vincent Paquet quickly put his mind at rest, stating that: "Since the initial idea behind posting a voicemail, was precisely to share it with others, we did not restrict crawling of those messages that users post on the web."

But he added: "We can certainly understand that users would want to make them public on their sites but not necessarily searchable directly outside of their own website. We made a change to prevent those to be crawled so only the site owner can decide to index them."

As one posted to Boygeniusreport said, "Lol you really think google would make a programming mistake like that??" ®

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