Google Privacy Policy: the Actual Changes

EFF published a nice summary explaining what the substantial changes are to Google‘s privacy policy. If you use any Google tools –GMail, Google Docs, G+, Youtube etc, you cannot fail to have noticed the pop-ups alerting you to imminent changes that come into effect March 1, 2012.

Previously, the data Google collected on you when you used YouTube was carefully cabined away from your other Google products. So, in effect, Google could use data they collected on YouTube to improve and customize the users’ YouTube experience, but couldn’t use the data to customize and improve user experience on, say, Google+.

The same siloing took place for your search history. Previously, Google search data was kept separate from other products. Even when users were logged in, Google promised not to share the information they gathered about you from your Google search history when customizing their other products. Considering how uniquely sensitive user search history can be (indicating vital facts about your location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion, health concerns, and much more), this was an important privacy protection.

No more. Whatever Google tool you’re using, you are now a single user across the whole system. All the different bits tell all the other bits all about you when you switch between them.

What Actually Changed in Google’s Privacy Policy.

This article has been reproduced from Sciencetext technology website. Copyright David Bradley.

Image reproduced from http://www.re-volution.org.uk

 

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About David Bradley Science Writer

David Bradley has worked in science communication for more than twenty years. After reading chemistry at university, he worked and travelled in the USA, did a stint in a QA/QC lab and then took on a role as a technical editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry. Then, following an extended trip to Australia, he returned and began contributing as a freelance to the likes of New Scientist and various trade magazines. He has been growing his portfolio and and has constructed the Sciencebase Science News and the Sciencetext technology website. He also runs the SciScoop Science Forum which is open to guest contributors on scientific topics.
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