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Post written by Contributing Blogger
Google’s Updated Privacy Policy Faces Opposition 02.02

Google’s Updated Privacy Policy Faces Opposition 02.02 Post written by Contributing Blogger * * * In an effort to streamline and simplify its services, Google has recently announced its plans to combine the privacy policies from over
The new policy, taking effect March 1st, clearly outlines what kind of information the company collects from its users, how they obtain it, and what they use it for. Google also announced that the new policy will allow them to seamlessly share this information across their wide array of services, creating a smarter and more efficient browsing experience. Many seem to think that the search giant is being too careless with their personal information, however, and are subsequently facing strong opposition from not only users, but Congress as well. In an interview with the Washington Post, Common Sense Media chief executive James Steyer called the new privacy sharing policy, “frustrating and a little frightening,” pointing out that users are unable to completely opt out of the data collecting practices that Google uses. A few members of Congress are equally concerned and wondering if this new policy is simply a strategy to create more finely tuned online advertisements. Last week they asked the FTC to investigate the matter, citing that this new practice may violate a settlement reached last year over Google’s (now defunct) Buzz social network. Investigations are still pending. Google was quick to point out that it’s not changing what kind information it collects, but rather how they use that information, “With these changes, the privacy policy will be easier to read, and will help us create one beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google products and services. The new privacy policy makes it clear that if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services — helping us treat you as a single user across all our products.” We covered what the Google+ social network can do for your business, but now Google is taking it a step further. In their promotional video, they explained how this new system would benefit an individual in the real world. For example, say you have an appointment scheduled in Google Calendar. Based on the GPS location of your mobile phone and the current traffic conditions in your area, Google may send you a reminder, warning you that you are running late. Google went on to state that by sharing your information across all of their services, a user’s browsing experience will be greatly improved. For instance, based on your previous search history, Google will be able to tell if a user that searches the word “jaguar” actually means Jaguar the car versus jaguar the feline. It would also mean that when that user visits the YouTube homepage, they may be greeted by videos of Jaguar test drives instead of keyboard playing cats. Although tailoring search results based on your personal interests sounds convenient, there are some that warn about the effects of such a system. Eli Pariser, author of “The Filter Bubble,” believes that there is a fundamental switch in how information flows online. He states that companies such as Google and Facebook are using your private information to only show you information that they think is relevant to you. “[Filter bubbles] are the gates we erect through which information about the world comes,” he said. “With Facebook, Google and personalized news services weighting search results according to our interests, we are living more within filter bubbles than ever before.” So for example, a conservative political activist may only receive search results and news articles pertaining to their political party of choice, and nothing about the other. This, in effect, creates a filter bubble for that individual, limiting the visible information to only a single point of view. If this sounds like something you would rather avoid happening to you, there are some ways to avoid Google’s data gathering techniques. Gizmodo provided a few steps one can take: 1. Are your ads too personal? Click on Ads Preferences Manager, then click “Opt Out” under “Ads in Search and Gmail”, and then again under “Ads on the Web”. 2. Is your search too personal? Go to the gear in the top right corner of your screen (on any Google search result page) click search settings, and then click “Do not use personal results.” You will no longer see biased search results based on you and your friend’s interests. 3. Is your Android phone too personal? Backup you’re important data (such as contacts, pics, and video) then factory reset your phone. When the initial boot screen comes up, simply skip the Google registration wizard. You will still be able to use everything on the phone, except for the Android Marketplace. Of course, the only way to completely stop Google from gathering and sharing your personal information is to stop using the service altogether. It’s really a question of convenience versus security. How much of your information are you willing to share? One thing is for sure, Google is undoubtedly the most prolific and advanced search engine on the web. Their services like Gmail and YouTube are revolutionary and are used by millions around the world. Would you be willing to sacrifice a measure of your privacy in order to reap the benefits of these services? It’s your decision to make and now you know what’s at stake if you choose to stick with Google.
Autor: Contributing Blogger
Fonte: hodtfime
Segunda-feira, 21 de Maio de 2012 - 09:46:04

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