Google’s New Privacy Policy

March 1, 2012

News, Technology

Bad GoogleI’ve been aware for some time that Google intended to update its privacy policies and I am reminded every time I log into my Google account about the impending change. So today when I grabbed my morning coffee and turned on the TV an interesting news story got my attention really fast. There was a report that Google’s new privacy policy takes effect today and how the looming changes could impact us.

Now I have a Gmail, Google+ and YouTube account, plus Google.com is my preferred search engine. I am now very interested in what changes have been implemented and how they will specifically affect me, my data and my browsing habits. I wonder if anything is kept private anymore?

So first things first, what are the changes. Mainly – Google will consolidate all of your account information and track your habits across all products as one account. Meaning information from your Gmail, Google+ and YouTube accounts will be stored in one account in a large repository. Historically – each product kept information on you separately.

Google contends the move simplifies and unifies its policies across its various services such as Gmail, YouTube, Android mobile systems, social networks and Internet search.

But critics including European privacy agencies and US consumer watchdogs argued the new policy, which offers no ability to opt out aside from refraining from signing into Google services, gives the Internet giant unprecedented ability to monitor its users.

Google isn’t telling you about protecting your privacy. Google is telling you how they will gather information about you on all its services, combine it in new ways and use the fat new digital dossiers to sell more ads. They’re telling you how they plan to spy on you. It’s a spy policy. And even worst – sell that information for profit.

In a letter to Google Chief Executive Larry Page, Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and 35 other state attorneys general outlined concerns about big changes to Google’s privacy policy. State attorneys general say the changes, going into effect on March 1, threaten the confidentiality of Google customers. The AGs also say it has the potential to heighten the risk of identity theft and fraud, given that Google plans to store more detailed customer information.

In a joint letter to Google chief executive Larry Page, the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue urged Google to delay implementation of the changes, saying it would “combine data from all of your services… into a single profile without user consent and without any meaningful opportunity for users to opt-out.”

US Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz has said Google is forcing users to make a “brutal choice” — ending its use of the service or complying with the new monitoring scheme.

I think Google had gone too far with this new policy. This makes me very uncomfortable. Let’s look at this from another angle, shall we. Google now knows more about us than our own governments. The United States with its vast network of law enforcement, agencies and technology networks only knows a fraction as much about any of us as Google does now.privacy

The Mountain View, California-based firm said the changes are designed to improve the user experience across the various Google products, and give the firm a more integrated view of its users, an advantage enjoyed by Apple and Facebook.

“Our new privacy policy gets rid of those inconsistencies so we can make more of your information available to you when using Google,” Google states.

“So in the future, if you do frequent searches for Jamie Oliver, we could recommend Jamie Oliver videos when you’re looking for recipes on YouTube — or we might suggest ads for his cookbooks when you’re on other Google properties.

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About Barry Bestpitch

Barry Bestpitch has helped a wide range of businesses launch, re-brand, and flourish. Barry has worked in various business development , marketing positions and executive staff positions, he is experienced in all media and in small and large scale marketing. He is strong at writing business plans and proposals as well as aiding with your funding search. Barry has acted as a coach and mentor to many business owners and executives.

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