Backlash over Google move to change privacy settings

Posted in: Legal & Security at 26/01/2012 19:34

Critics have hit out at Google's decision to merge personal data from YouTube, Gmail, search, social network Google+ and dozens of other services.

Forthcoming changes to privacy settings will see data shared across all these platforms. Users cannot opt out of the changes.

Google said the update would offer more relevant searches.

But critics say it has more to do with the data battle the search giant is waging with rival Facebook.

Also see:

Google: Updating our privacy policies and terms of service
In just over a month we will make some changes to our privacy policies and Google Terms of Service. This stuff matters, so we wanted to explain what's changing, why and what these changes mean for users.

First, our privacy policies. Despite trimming our policies in 2010, we still have more than 70 (yes, you read right ... 70) privacy documents covering all of our different products. This approach is somewhat complicated. It's also at odds with our efforts to integrate our different products more closely so that we can create a beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google.

So we're rolling out a new main privacy policy that covers the majority of our products and explains what information we collect, and how we use it, in a much more readable way. While we've had to keep a handful of separate privacy notices for legal and other reasons, we're consolidating more than 60 into our main Privacy Policy.

FAQ: Google's new privacy policy
Google announced Tuesday that it will integrate users' information across Gmail, YouTube, search and 57 other Google services.

Google privacy director Alma Whitten, who explained the changes in a company blog post Tuesday afternoon, said the company will "treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience."

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