Yes the policy on how much information they gather from you is scary, but not any more than any other company that gathers info from you, including Microsoft, Yahoo, and so on. So what is the difference?
- Google is a huge company with lots of services, and so information is centralized.
Question: Have you read all those other policies you have agreed to in the past? Not likely. I often joke about it: “Well, there I go giving up another child to Apple,” I say as I imagine Apple’s new policy updates to be a lot like Rumpelstiltskin – offering tempting items at a horrible price. Although educated, I also do not understand what I am reading with many of these agreements. So, did I really agree to the agreement I agreed to? I am not sure. Is it legally binding if I did not understand what I signed? +sigh+ But I digress.
So we have three particularly important issues: A) information with Google services is now centralized, meaning they can connect the dots about you more easily. Big is scary and the bigger one gets, and the more power one has, the more scary that entity becomes. Power corrupts and Google’s hope to “do no evil,” is less likely. B) Likely for the first time, you are able to read the privacy rights you are giving up. These are not new surrenders, but readable rights of privacy, which is scary. It is easier to ignore what we cannot understand. Plain English makes it super clear
C) “Wishy-washy” language leaves us all on uncertain grounds as to what constitutes reasonable attempts to keep information private and accurate. With that said, what really worries me, and it is something that Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft all do, is how that information will be processed. I will quote from the new private policy for this one:
“We also use this information to offer you tailored content – like giving you more relevant search results and ads.”
- Worry number four: Google will be narrowly targeting our likes, dislikes, and interests. Again, Google is not unique on this, but given the centralized mode of information collection, they are the most efficient at this.
For those of you interested in
deleting your web browsing history on Google before their new privacy
policy takes place, John Thomas Didymus at Digital Journal offered this great advice:
1. Go to the google homepage and sign into your account.
2. Click the dropdown menu next to your name in the upper-right hand corner of your screen.
3. Click accounts settings
4. Find the “Services section”
5. Under “Services” there is a sub-section that reads “View, enable,
disable web history.” Click the link next to it that reads: “Go to Web
6. Click on “Remove all Web History”
When you click on “Remove all Web History,” a message appears that says
” Web History is Paused.” What this means is that while Google will
continue gathering and storing information about your web history it
will make all data anonymous, that is, Google will not
associate your Web History information with your online accounts and
will therefore be unable to send you customized search results.