While “the stream” in Google+ gets tweaked for better privacy control, Google Profiles are now required to be public. From the help document:
We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles donâ€™t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public.
Keep in mind that your full name and gender are the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; youâ€™ll be able to edit or remove any other information that you donâ€™t want to share.
If you currently have a private profile but you do not wish to make your profile public, you can delete your profile. Or, you can simply do nothing. All private profiles will be deleted after July 31, 2011.
On requiring that users enter either Male, Female, or Other into the “Gender” field in Google Profiles (argh, gender is not sex), Danny O’Brien writes:
A strange omission in an otherwise very sensitively put together service: I’m a bit (honestly, very) weirded out by the fact that G+ requires you to provide a gender, and then makes it compulsorily world viewable (try editing who gets to see it in your profile).
That’s often a particularly sensitive bit of information; especially if you identify as “Other”. I mean, I can’t be the only one thinking that constructing a list of people who identify as Other in a local area isn’t something that we want to enable. Or women for that matter.
Speaking of gender identity, it appears that only 10% of G+ field testers identify as female. I’m trying to get a confirmation or denial from the Googlers-in-charge on that.