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I recently heard from my friend that Gmail is showing that I have activated 2-set verification in their Gmail account, like a promotion or something.

  • Is Gmail doing this?
  • Is it possible that Gmail would do something like that?

I will give an example: I am xyz@gmail.com and I have activated 2-step verification. I have abc@gmail.com as one of my contacts.

Would Gmail show in abc@gmail.com account that xyz@gmail.com has activated 2-step verification?


  1. xyz@gmail.com is also in abc@gmail.com's contact list;
  2. xyz@gmail.com is not in abc@gmail.com's contact list.
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migrated from superuser.com Feb 5 '12 at 18:00

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

do you mean Multifactor authentication? – mjrider Feb 6 '12 at 17:00

You can check to see if you have it activated by logging in to the dashboard and going to Account - manage account - security - 2 step verification and see if it is on or off

As you agree to their privacy policy it is entirely feasible that they would use that information about you to promote one of their products to a contact of yours, or someone that has you listed as a contact. Remember, they are in the business of selling.

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Google have introduced a second layer of security to avoid people hi-jacking your account. See their BLOG for detailed explanation. As far as I know it is only turned on when you ask for it.

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Would gmail show in abc@gmail.com account, that xyz@gmail.com has activated 2-step verification? Provided :

No. Only accounts which you use & are authorized to check are shown if Two-factor auth is enabled or not.

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I use multifactor authentication with multiple Google accounts currently. To my understanding, ONLY if:

  • abc@gmail.com has xyz@gmail.com's password will abc@gmail.com be able to see the second page with the mulitfactor auth prompt
  • xyz@gmail.com tells abc@gmail.com that he isusing Multifactor Auth

Will abc@gmail.com be able to tell xyz@gmail.com is using Multifactor authentication.

I just remembered one more way that abc@gmail.com would beable to know if xyz@gmail.com is using multifactor auth: If abc@myowngmail.com is a Google Apps administrator for @myowngmail.com, abc@myowngmail.com will be able to know wether @myowngmail.com is enabled to let users to enable multifactor on accounts under @myowngmail.com.

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