I’ve enjoyed Plaxo’s ability to sync address data between multiple services for a while and I even enjoy their new Pulse product. But the two are too integrated without enough control around contact info updates. This week when I installed their Mac OS X Sync conduit to sync up my address book it took some old email addresses that I no longer use and evidently today the Plaxo service chose to broadcast those out to presumably everyone. They weren’t work email addresses and I didn’t authorize Plaxo to do the broadcast.
After I did the sync yesterday I noticed an email asking me to confirm that a current email address was in fact mine. I clicked on the link, logged in as myself and instead of some confirmation acknowledgement I saw that Plaxo had sent a “Pulse” update like this one:
What are you thinking Plaxo?! If I wanted to broadcast new info out to everyone via Pulse, I would do so. I don’t need you to take some address book sync - an operation that can often do funny things with old contact information - and automatically broadcast it without asking me.
To the gang at Plaxo: I like where you are headed conceptually with your new services but you have got to realize you are now in the identity management business. With that in mind, please put some gates around personal identity updates. After I uninstall your sync conduit it will take me a while to fully trust you with my data again.