Google Privacy Update - What It Really Means

In this post at the risk of becoming a news type I wanted to clear some crap up about the latest round of privacy updates from Google. Over the past few 24 hours I've read countless articles and opinions about how "scary" this is and with lots of news lets claiming a "backlash" against Google which just fuels the whole scary thing... [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGghlPmebCY&w=560&h=315]

So in this post I am going to tell you why things have changed and what has changed that you need to know. Remember as you read this 99% of what is in this new document already existed, it was just duplicated across many other privacy policies and is now integrated into 1 (instead of over 70).

First, the changes to Google's privacy policy will not happen until March 1st. So if you really want to leave Google you can do, no rush - just visit the Data Liberation website to find out how to get it out - its easy.

Second, the changes mean that Google won't need you to sign in 25 times to get between Google Products etc - Think about facebook which has you ALWAYS signed in ... not just on facebook but across the web. Google is just talking about on Google websites like YouTube and Google+ ... seamless integration for you and setting across the board. Of course this also means more personalisation of what is on the page you are viewing, but in a world of increasing social influence is this really so scary? Again think of facebook always telling you what your friends have "liked" even though you never asked. At least with Google you have to be searching for something relevant to that...

Third, As i mentioned most of the policies already existed in one or more of over 70 documents. Google has always been fair with data and this won't change. What will change is we will actually get a single document which will be nicer to read and make more sense - this is something regulators and consumers across the globe have called for since about 2006... I just wish other companies would now follow suit (BING?).

Fourth, the new policy includes further features for the New Dashboard (which has been around for a while) and Ad Preference facility.  If you've not met them before take a look there is some interesting stuff in there (including data liberation stuff). In addition to this you will be able to share things with a lot more ease, thanks to new buttons appearing across the sites (and the new toolbar on the top of each property).

Fifth, unlike many of our large internet companies, Google is clearly now committed to being open and responsible (even more than previously) when it comes to information about you and me. If you would like to know more about the Google Privacy changes visit the GootToKnow information page.