Yesterday evening, I received a Gmail chat message from someone I didn’t know asking why I requested to add him to his Gmail chat list. I didn’t recognize his email address, and I certainly hadn’t requested someone to be added to Gmail chat since I hardly ever use it.
I assumed it was another domain investor, so I did a quick Google search for the email address of the person who contacted me, and it turns out that the email address is the Whois address on file for someone with whom I was emailing about domain names last week.
I didn’t know why Google did this automatically, but when I looked in my Gmail settings, I noticed that this option was checked off: “Automatically allow people I communicate with often to chat with me and see when I’m online.”
If you are a frequent Gmail user and don’t want to weird people out by having Google request inclusion on their chat list, you should select this option: “Only allow people that I’ve explicitly approved to chat with me and see when I’m online.”