Google Privacy Changes: Do They affect You?

Google announced this week that it is rolling out a new, main privacy policy that covers the majority of its products. The company is consolidating over 60 privacy notices into the main privacy policy. It’s keeping a few separate for “legal and other reasons”.
“Regulators globally have been calling for shorter, simpler privacy policies—and having one policy covering many different products is now fairly standard across the web,” Google says.
Google users have been receiving emails about the changes:
You know that whole “Google+ is Google.” mantra? Essentially what the new privacy policy means is that Google+ is in fact Google. It also means that Gmail is Google. YouTube is Google. Essentially, it affirms what we’ve been saying for quite some time. Google is the product, and all of Google’s services are
basically features of that product – the way Facebook is the product, and the news feed, photos, videos, chat, etc. are features of that product.
In Google’s case, this concept embodies the majority of its products – the ones that aren’t being kept separate for “legal and other reasons”.
“The main change is for users with Google Accounts,” explains Alma Whitten, Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering at Google. “Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.”
Whitten says Google’s “Search Plus Your World” (or SPYW) is a good example of what Google can do when its products are one. Not everyone agrees that that is a “good” example. In fact, the move has been highly controversial, as is the new approach to privacy.
“Today we can also do things like make it easy for you to read a memo from Google Docs right in your Gmail, or add someone from your Gmail contacts to a meeting in Google Calendar,” Whitten adds. “But there’s so much more that Google can do to help you by sharing more of your information with … well, you. We can make search better—figuring out what you really mean when you type in Apple, Jaguar or Pink.”
“We can provide more relevant ads too,” says Whitten. “For example, it’s January, but maybe you’re not a gym person, so fitness ads aren’t that useful to you. We can provide reminders that you’re going to be late for a meeting based on your location, your calendar and an understanding of what the traffic is like that day. Or ensure that our spelling suggestions, even for your friends’ names, are accurate because you’ve typed them before. People still have to do way too much heavy lifting, and we want to do a better job of helping them out.”
The changes go into effect on March 1.

The whole thing obviously bodes well for Google+ numbers. Google announced last week thatGoogle+ has surpassed 90 million users. That’s a lot for the short time that’s been around, but it helps growth when it’s all tied to “the greater Google”. Sign up for a Google account now, and you’re signing up for Google+, Gmail, and nearly everything else.

Please Let Us Know What do you think about it through comments.

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