Google's New Privacy Policy

by David Loft posted March 1st 2012

File Under Tech

Google's new privacy policy went into effect today and from what I've read, many people seem confused and misinformed.

All Google has done is take over 60 different privacy policies and combine then into one easy to read concise policy. They have only changed the wording of the policy, they are not collecting more data or sharing anything with third parties.

If you have questions as to what Google has on you, go to their dashboard to see. You can even follow the links and delete much of what they have on you. But before you clear your online identity it's worth noting the benefits it provides.

I have 20,000 songs, 20,000 photos, 5,000 emails, 111 contacts, 198 bookmarks, 303 Google+ posts, 67 reader subscriptions, 24 Google Talk contacts and 13 YouTube videos. It's a large chunk of data but it's also a huge convenience and without the business model to support it would cost me hundreds of dollars a year to pay for all those services.

Google does not share this data with the advertiser, the advertiser selects the demographic and Google's algorithm makes it happen.

So by allowing Google to collect data on me I get access to my email from any device. My bookmarks are immediately available between my browser on all of my devices. My entire music and photo collection is available from any web browser or Android devices. My RSS feeds are synced between all of my devices so when read on one device, it will not show up on another. I'm able to make video calls and send instant messages for free to anyone on Google Talk around the world and make free voice calls to any phone in Canada and the US. I also have a place to share my thoughts and what's important to me on Google+ and YouTube.

The end result for all this data I share is that Google provides ads that are actually relevant to me.

Unfortunately for Google their privacy policy change comes at a bad time and to make matters worse it's really easy to read and understand. As a result the uninformed actually think the data collection between Google's services is new.

I don't understand how anyone can use a service like what Google provides and not wonder how they're making money. The unfortunate side effect of all of this privacy backlash will eventually result in government regulations. Regulations that will inevitable hamper and slow down the progress of an open and free internet.

I understand people's interest in privacy and as such I suggest that rather then try to change the internet to adopt your personal preference that you instead choose more carefully where you share your info and let the rest of us to share freely if we wish.

Source: Google Policies & Principles, Google Dashboard

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