Policy Changes Worry Some Countries

Posted on March 3, 2012 at 11:59 am by Amber Hemmer

The changes that are being made to Google’s privacy policy really don’t seem like that big of a deal to me. While each individual has their own opinion about this, it seems as though the new policy may actually benefit a user’s experience – which is exactly what Google is looking to do.

When people hear about the privacy changes and how no one really likes it, it’s too easy to just jump aboard the same ship without looking into what is really going on. What surprised me (kind of) is learning that Google has about 60 different services ranging from Gmail, maps, shopping, Google+ and many, many others. So when someone uses these many services, they end up signing into or creating a new profile for one or more Google area. That gets pretty tedious.

So to help eliminate a lot of overlapping information, Google is basically combining all of your accounts and account information into one place. Well that sounds okay, but it’s kind of hard for me to remember what personal information I used when I signed up for one of the services 7 years ago! What will other people be able to see?

Not only is your personal information being combined, but Google is also planning to keep tabs on your browsing history to create a more personalized experience. That doesn’t sound so bad either, but users beware! Now, Google has always done this, as do many other search engines. But with the combination of their services, many of their websites will change to show you more relevant information.

Some people really don’t care about these changes while others may close their accounts and leave entirely. However, even though some people are upset over these changes, it is now possible that the new policy breaks a European law! Apparently, the consolidation of a user’s many accounts and personal information under one large privacy policy isn’t enough to fall under the requirements of Europe’s Directive on Data Protection.

The privacy policy will not give users the option to opt-out of specific services, worrying many people. In fact, France’s authorities contacted Google to ask them to delay the privacy policy roll-out due to concerns with the legality of the switch.

However, Google ignored the request and the new change took effect just as planned. So who should really be concerned? Make sure your private information stays private and you carefully track what information is being used from your computer.

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