A Review of Google’s New Privacy Policy

As of March 1, 2012, Google officially combined privacy policies from more than 60 of its services to a single privacy policy. In doing so, Google is now able to take information from users who are logged-in to its products and services and store them into a database.

For example, activities conducted on Google’s search engine, Map, Docs, Calendar, Google+ and YouTube to name a few of their product can all be collected to create a unique user profile that will aid in a better user experience as well as targeted ads for their customer.

The collection of data is not just on computer-based devices; we are talking about mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets as well.

The biggest issue I personally have with Google’s new privacy policy pertains with its loosely wording. And why wouldn’t it be loose, how can one policy cover over 60 services and products?

Furthermore, with even more concern to privacy experts, the new policy allows for law enforcement to gain access to user information due to the expansion of the Patriot Act this past January. The National Security Letter provision of the Patriot Act allows federal authorities access your data from information custodian without a court order. Moreover, the Federal Law enforcement can order the ISP or information custodian to not disclose such request to the user.

Every year these request continue to increase in part to Google’s growing user-base and product offering.  In Google’s latest transparency report of information provided to various government entities per request, the US had the highest count.

Country

User Data Request

Percentage of user data request complied

Users/Account Specified

United States

5,950

93%

11.057

India

1,739

70%

2,439

France

1,312

47%

1,552

United Kingdom

1,279

63%

1,444

Germany

1,065

66%

1,759

If you do not what your information being tracked, we suggest logging off of Google’s services before doing searches and etc. This is a harder task if you are using an android-based device.

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