Google announced this afternoon that they would combine the individual privacy policies from a variety of their products into one “main policy,” giving you a single sign-on of sorts. The idea is to treat you as “a single user across all” products to provide you with a “more intuitive Google experience.” Critics and conspiracy theorists are already screaming with privacy concerns, but as far as I can tell, the services Google provides should simply get better and things really aren’t changing all that much.
To get started though, here is the excerpt that has people up in arms:
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. 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.
I think what has people concerned, is that Google has already been under fire for privacy and anti-trust issues, so a policy change like this is going to draw attention. What we would recommend is that you read through the list of links we have below which includes both the old and new privacy policies. You will see for yourself that not much as changed and that your tin foil hat can sit in the closet for another couple of weeks. Well, until March 1 rolls around and this new policy takes effect.