Google Changing Privacy And User Tracking Policy
January 24, 2012 at 3:25 PM (PT)
GOOGLE will now require users to allow their activities to be tracked by the search giant across e-mail, search, YOUTUBE and other services, reports THE WASHINGTON POST. The information will enable GOOGLE to develop a fuller picture of how people use its growing empire of websites. Consumers will have no choice but to accept the changes.
This dramatic shift in strategy, which starts MARCH 1st, will likely prompt a public outcry about GOOGLE's respect -- or lack thereof -- of their users privacy. What's more, the changes will impact ANDROID mobile phone users, who are required to log in to GOOGLE accounts when they activate their phones.
The reason for the move, according to the POST, is that after suffering through disappointing quarterly earnings, GOOGLE wants to mimic FACEBOOK's and APPLE's ecosystems by tailoring ads and marketing to its users' personal tastes. For example, a user who happens to watch a YOUTUBE video of a certain band might suddenly see ads for the band's latest records or concert ticket info in his or her GMAIL accounts.
"If you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services," GOOGLE Dir./Privacy, Product and Engineering ALMA WHITTEN wrote in a blog post. "In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience."
The problem may come from users who may not want their information shared across different websites. A GMAIL user who send messages to a potential business partner about a private meeting may not want the location of that meeting publicized in GOOGLE’s massive database or used for its maps application.
Privacy advocates recently filed a separate complaint that GOOGLE deceived consumers by using information from its new social network GIOOGLE+ in general search results, while other point to GMAIL users, including some WHITE HOUSE staff, who targeted by hackers who were able to breach the company’s e-mail accounts.