Is Google’s new Privacy Policy really that bad?

Date: 2nd March 2012

Author: Phil Smith

This week the changes Google has made to its privacy settings have been heavily featured in the news but is the situation being blown out of proportion and are people making more of a fuss about it than necessary?

Yesterday saw the new privacy policy implemented which sees the different privacy policies across the different Google owned sites such as YouTube, Gmail and Blogger all condensed into one policy which covers all of their services. This allows Google to now target ads on one site based on data collected from another, for example videos you browse on YouTube can now influence the ads you see when you login to Gmail and vice versa. Previously ads were only based on searches and data from that one service and not the different services across Google’s portfolio.

google privacy policy

The reason this is making such big news is because the EU’s justice commissioner says that the policy is in breach of European law and that people should be able to have a say over targeted advertising. Google’s view is that they are condensing down over 60 different guidelines into one that covers all Google owned sites and that the change will help improve the quality of search results and provide more targeted ads to users. The changes have been advertised by Google leading up to the new condensed privacy policy but there is no way to opt out of the new changes. But the question I’d like to ask is; should users really be given a choice anyway?

Google is a business and needs to make money to continue offering the free services that they do. The way they make their money is through advertising and if they wish to change the policies for the services they own and operate then who’s to say they can’t? People most likely do a search on Google or view a YouTube video at least once a day and don’t pay anything to use these services. If people don’t like the new changes that a company are making then there are always other alternatives out there for people to use, but people stick with Google because the services they offer are that good. Don’t forget as well that these changes are only going to majorly affect users that are logged into a Google account. Are people worried that their YouTube viewing is so different to their usage of Blogger that they don’t want ads related to one site’s usage appearing on another? Since the changes have already been implemented, it will be interesting to see how this develops in the near future.

Have a look at Google’s new privacy policy so you can see the changes that are being made.

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