One policy and One Google Experience. Its Google’s attempt at keeping things simple and offering the ultimate product experience. Google has announced that they are getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that they state is a lot shorter and easier to read. Not a bad idea being that most internet users would never take the time to read Google’s 60 different privacy policies in the first place.
Under Google’s new policy, a user with a Google account who signs into Google’s search, YouTube, Gmail and other applications is treated as the same individual across all of those services, and data may be shared between those services. Consumers may not opt out of this change, which goes into effect March 1.
According to Google’s Policies & Principles page, their privacy principles have remain unchanged.
Google’s policy states that they won’t share their users’ personal information without their permission except in very limited circumstances like a valid court order. Google also states that they do not sell users’ personal information.
Many of us use Google’s many services and the price we pay is to allow our information to be analyzed so that more targeted ads can reach us.
Did you know? Google can see the content of your emails if you use Gmail, where you like to visit if you use Google Maps and if you have enabled GPS information on your Android phone your precise location is known by Google throughout the day. You may want to reconsider the data you share with Google on a daily basis.
Many universities and government institutions use Gmail as their email service provider. This personally identifying data may not be shared with third parties, but with a subpoena Google may provide information with local, state or federal agencies.
With the upcoming new policy, now is a good time to tighten your Google privacy settings and perhaps consider exploring alternatives to Google Calendar and Gmail. Google offers some great tips on its “Good to Know” webpage. Things like “staying safe online”, “protecting your data on the web”, “your data on Google” and “managing your data on Google.” Its worth checking out.
Go figure… it was one of my New Year’s goals to start using Google Calendar and discontinue using MS Outlook. I had even purchased a mobile app so that I could have instant access to my Google Calendar at all times. However, now I am now reconsidering changing my calendar to Google Calendar as I am concerned about the privacy and security of my data.
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