Google introduced a new feature to Google Reader on December 14th that lets you view your friends publicly shared items -- little did Google know, that feature somehow ruined Christmas for someone, gave away trade secrets, violated everyone's privacy and created a huge anti-reader bandwagon that has plenty of room for passengers. People are massively upset that their public feeds are being publicized -- to their friends.
I think the problem here, as ParisLemon puts it, is Google's system for determining if someone is a "friend". Currently, someone is labeled as your friend if you have them in your Gmail contact list and you have talked with them using Google Talk. Those two things together can almost certainly determine if you know someone well, but it's a bad way to tell if someone is your friend.
I honestly don't understand why so many people are angry about this feature -- sure, nobody had to "opt in", but people should know that when they make something "public" (share something that clearly states it's being made "public"), that you shouldn't use it to do anything "private"?
"Your shared items are publicly accessible. They are available as a page at http://www.google.com/reader/shared/11452057738876564749 (and there's a feed too)" -- on the shared items page
I'd like to get a true sense of what people think about this feature. Please take the poll!