Google’s New Privacy Policy

Is it any coincidence that Google announced a massive change to its privacy policy right when Apple announced earnings? Media coverage divergence?

In summary – From 1st March 2012, Google will allow itself to share your personal information across Google services, as long as you’re signed in.

What does this mean?

  • Google can now look at what you’ve been doing on YouTube, Gmail, and Google+ to suggest search results and ‘more relevant ads.’

  • Google can take information you provide on your Google Profile, including your name and photo, and use it on all your other Google products like Gmail – and can replace past names you used, so you’re the same on all sites.

  • Google will collect information from your mobile device, including your phone number, and associate it with your Google Account.

Furthermore, And I quote:

We use the information we collect from all of our services to provide, maintain, protect and improve them, to develop new ones, and to protect Google and our users. We also use this information to offer you tailored content – like giving you more relevant search results and ads.
We may use the name you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services. If other users already have your email, or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Google Profile information, such as your name and photo.

– Read the full Google Policy.

The end result for Google users could well mean that if you have private data and job data and health data across separate Google services then they will now be merged together. Few people realize the full implications of this!
Most people don’t know that potential employers, major landlords, insurance companies, and law enforcement have had access to their credit and health histories for a long time. Given the enormous number of people who can access even your personal medical history anything could go public at any time.

When Sun Microsystems CEO said consumer privacy issues are a “red herring…You have zero privacy anyway…get over it.” this essentially rings true –

Commentary adapted from Business Insider Article – Google Is Changing Its Privacy Policy To Share Your Data Between Its Services
Read the full Google Privacy Policy

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