back to article Google accused of stomping on rivals as it stamps out annoying Calendar spam

Google recently changed the default setting for adding invitations to its Calendar service in a way that interferes with third-party products. The Big G said it's just trying to block spam while some in the industry are calling foul. Earlier this week, Mike Adams, CEO of Grain, an organizational service for managing customer …

  1. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    Probs the AI.

    Fing with google at this point.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Probs the AI.

      Nah, Bard (SJWAI) will only tell you basic stuff about Adolf Hitler etc when you push it, it's not probably not aware of scams etc because they seem to have removed "dangerous stuff" from the training set. I doubt Bard will ever be useful for anything objective.

  2. Yorick Hunt Silver badge
    Angel

    Oh didums

    Spammers complaining about it being harder to spam? My heart breaks for them.

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Re: Oh didums

      Which spammer are you talking about ?

      Google is the king of spam, they spam ads everywhere.

  3. abend0c4 Silver badge

    An organizational service for managing customer relationships

    I hope Grain's summarising AI didn't come up with that particular word salad.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: An organizational service for managing customer relationships

      It's a long way of saying "spammer".

      -A.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Google should have just left the default"

    So we should have all stayed on Windows XP and left protection to the various anti-virus providers and basic user complacency ?

    I disagree. Spam is a nuisance and a threat, and any measure to curtail it should be welcomed with open arms.

    On top of that, if you make a product that can only succeed based on someone else's product, then you shouldn't complain when new and better security measures make your life more difficult. You modify your product to improve it and integrate the necessary security, demonstrating that you have your users' interests at heart.

    Wailing that everything should have remained as it was is only you not willing to evolve. That does not inspire confidence.

    1. Pacific816

      Re: "Google should have just left the default"

      Agreed. I also recall a company named Meta whining about something similar when Apple came out with Do Not Track also

  5. iron Silver badge

    Stop running your business on an ad supported product. Google is not your friend.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      "Google is not your friend."

      Oh but it is. Ten thousand Nigerian princes can't be wrong.

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Where is the calendar spam coming from?

    I bet it all comes from Google.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Where is the calendar spam coming from?

      So many downvotes? I've honestly never seen calendar spam that doesn't come from Google. Sometimes I reject everything from 2607:F8B0::/32 and 2a00:1450::/29 for a week when Google's spam gets totally out of control. Even the linked Reg article says it's Google: https://www.theregister.com/2019/06/11/google_kaspersky_gmail_spam/

      Yes, a few legitimate e-mails get blocked. I remind people that Google has spam problems and that's the way it is when you're using them.

  7. TeeCee Gold badge

    ...unless the booker previously emailed the host, or explicitly accepted the invitation in email.

    Well, there's the problem. That really should have been in place and the default from Day 1.

    If you're building something in this day and age that doesn't start OOB with the attitude; "The answer is Fuck Off, now what's the question?", you are positively encouraging misuse.

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Indeed.

      I'm finding it very hard to understand why I would *ever* want to have an entry appear in my calendar that wasn't from a *very* small number of privileged people (and that most certainly is *not* everyone in my address book!) or wasn't added by my own actions, including explicitly accepting an invitation in an email.

      Even if an external third-party system was used to let someone add entries, surely you'd expect to go through some steps to allow them the privilege? Not just find out that the whole reason they work is because they can drop random crap in, but don't worry, we are the good guys and promise not to misbehave!

  8. Vader

    this is like Facebook,twitter and other social media influencers complaining that they are not as visible as they used to be. Well tough you have but your business on someone else's foundation and if they change foundation or logic tough.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The FOSS aversion to Outlook leads here.

    After over 20 years of using various flavours of Linux, and sneaking them onto desktops where I can, the lack of anything that fills the Outlook hole from MS still perplexes me.

    It used to be the #1 application a standard office based user would look for when they fired up their machine.

    Now it's gMail and gCalendar, and that's that.

    1. Cheshire Cat
      Go

      Re: The FOSS aversion to Outlook leads here.

      Evolution (add evolution-ews for O365/Exchange access) or Thunderbird (add OWL for O365/Exchange access) seem to work well for me. Thunderbird was a bit ropey a few years back but has improved in the later versions. They are also both much better than Outlook at handling multiple external calendars.

  10. Cheshire Cat
    Thumb Up

    Sounds like a good idea to me

    I don't want thing to appear in my calendar just because someone emailed me an invitation; I want to explicitly accept them first.

    Google's change here sounds good to me, and is in fact how my current Evolution mail client works as well.

    No wonder the spammers are complaining when they no longer have a way to push things into my calendar without my approval.

  11. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    Translation service

    "That commitment, we're told, involves further adjustments to user controls and the expectation is that these tweaks will address at least some of the concerns raised by third-parties."

    This means check your options every week, because they're going to keep defaulting back. No idea why anyone uses Google for work to begin with. There is such a thing as protecting sensitive information, and you aren't protecting information when you use a known data hoovering company for anything.

    1. Furious Reg reader John

      Re: Translation service

      The 1990's are calling and have booked a calendar appointment to sell you on prem Exchange.

  12. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    Google have basically changed the default to the way I've always thought it worked anyway? The way that, surely, almost any sane person would want?

    I mean, there are integration APIs, if you integrate with another app it should be easy to grant it permission to create events and so on, right? I mean that should be a no-brainer.

    So as long as they've got either a plan to open the APIs, or some instructions on how to retool for the new normal, I have to say I think I'm on Google's side here. (The usual cavetas about snooping, advertising, etc, aside)

  13. localzuk Silver badge

    Not sure what the issue is here

    Surely you only want bookings to appear in your calendar if you specifically accept them via the invitations?

    Do people really want appointments magically appearing in their calendar from unknown addresses?! That seems like a really bad idea.

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