Google’s New Privacy Policy

The company that’s credo is “Don’t be Evil” sent an e-mail to all its users on January 28th, 2012 notifying them of its privacy policy changes. Like everything that Google does, the form was simple to read and well constructed:

…but what are these changes and what does it all mean?

To start at the beginning, we need to breakout what privacy means. Often times it’s used interchangeably with security, but in fact, they are neither separate nor the same thing. Privacy is the result of security–security is everything a company does to maintain your information is private.  Google is assuring its users that this part has not changed and user information is still safe.

What has changed is that user data will now be merged across all of Google’s systems, meaning that your search, e-mail contact, YouTube views etc. behavior will now be used to create one profile. For the company, it means that it can return even more customized search results (better ROI for its advertisers as well).

For the user: because the information is so detailed, Google can now tell who you are even when you use different accounts and its Google+ service requires real names. Looks like its time to get rid of those alter egos.

Google’s response is that they have been collecting this information all along, so it’s not any information that they didn’t already have. Nonetheless, the company is still facing backlash, users citing it as creepy. I can’t help but agree because I once I worked on a project about diapers and for the next month, all I got were banner ads about diapers.

To get around some of their information storing:


2 responses to “Google’s New Privacy Policy

  1. These new changes are a like a writing on the wall for other future trends such as face and voice recognition which are slowly making their way across web search. Google has had all these capabilities for some time now and they are slowly implementing them. Like it or not, Nothing is private or sacred any more and we as consumers are slowly having to adjust to these changes.

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