Google’s New Privacy Policy


Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

If there is one thing that defines our internet experience, it is Google. A lot of us (including me) cannot imagine a life without Google products.

A very few among us would ever think beyond using those products. They will simply click on ‘Agree’ button and move on. Coming March 1st, Google is going to make significant changes in its privacy policy. I am sure you all must have been getting that yellow popup now-and-then also like me you must have been ignoring that popup.

So, to make life easy for you all, I am going to review the new privacy policy here on my blog.

Google has more than 50 products in its kitty. Famous among them is Picasa, Gmail, GTalk and maps. As of now they all have a different privacy policy which most of us have not read (including me). Google has now decided to bring all the privacy policies under one roof. Yes, there would no policies for each of their service. It would be just one privacy policy named hypothetically as Google Privacy Policy. All the products and services will be guided by said policy.

In broader sense this means that, no matter which internet browser you use, Google will collect all your information and collect in its own cloud. (In order to provide better search results.) From your IP address to searches you make to videos you watched- Google will track and store everything. Google, may also share (read sell) this information with stake holders.

Google has been doing this for a long time. It just that this time they’re little open about it.

— w3.adityabhasin.in (@meadityabhasin) February 27, 2012

Please note:

Google Chrome, Books, Wallet will still use a different privacy policy.

Information at stake

1)      Phone numbers;

2)     Pseudo name;

3)     Your smart phone make;

4)     Marital status;

5)     Profession;

6)      Interest;

7)     Secret, object able, adulterous search results;

8)    Tax information;

9)     Medical history;

10) Criminal records;

11)  Any schedule that one adds to Google calendar;

12) Your location, through GPS device on your phone.

People at stake

If you’re ‘once in a blue moon’ user of internet, then all is OK. Otherwise, if you’re like me, whose good amount of time is spent on, internet-then the bug starts for you. The second you login into your Google account and start making searches or maps or G talk- your privacy is already on stake. Google will go ahead and collect all the possible information through your login and every time you login again. Google, may share (read sell) this information with marketing companies and business houses.  Sharing any suspicious Email with government is obligation; already. If you think that you will not acknowledge this option- it’s out of question. You have to

Protest-Worldwide

Indiais a country which is not much concerned much about privacy stuff. If we travel towards west in countries likeEuropeand US, there is good amount of protest been made against the new Google privacy policy. Microsoft has also condemned the new privacy policy. A survey conducted my WashingtonPost.com sates that 66% Google users say that they will quit Google.

Google’s take

Google, for but obvious reason is trying hard to defend its now policy. It says that this will help their robots generate ‘quality’ search results for their users.

How users can protect themselves.

1)      Private surfing

Internet explorer (yes, I think IE is still a browser), Safai, Chrome and Firefox are  major browsers used by most of us. All of these browser do have a feature which can enable you to protect your privacy.  This will make sure that none of your information goes to any website.

IE 8 and above: On the top right corner, click on ‘Safety’ tab and then click on ‘InPrivate Browsing’. This will enable a private tab in IE thus protecting all your information going to a third party or a website like Google.

IE
IE

Chrome 17.0.963.56 : Press CTRL+SHIFT+ N  or on top right hand corner, there is a wrench tool button, click on ‘New Incognito window’.

Chrome
Chrome

Firefox 10.0 : On top left rand corner click on ‘Firefox’ and then click on ‘Start Private Browsing’.

Firefox 10.0
Firefox 10.0

Safari 5.1.1: On top right hand corner click on settings button and then click on ‘Private browsing’

Safari
Safari

2)     Remove date

If in case you’d like know that what all information Google has stored about you then you can check http://www.DataLibration.org. It will allow you to download all the information to your system.

3)     Remove Google History

Log in onto your Google account > type Google.com/history > Click on ‘Turn off web history’. Even after following this step Google will continue recording all your search history but not under your name. This data will be deleted automatically after 18 months.

4)     Goodbye Google

 Here is the most difficult part of whole privacy business. Nobody, at least me would not like to close my Google account. Even then you want to close here are the steps:

1)Go to Google.com >On right hand side click on ‘ Account setting’ > go to services option > and click on ‘Close Google account.’

The bug stops here.

A lot of you may say that what the big deal is. Google used to do this earlier as well. So, to answer that let me say that, earlier Google used to gather Application or service based information, but now Google will gather all your information; no matter what.

For an example: Earlier while you used Gtalk, Google only saved your chat scripts but now they may use the content of those chat scripts for marketing purpose.

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DISCLAIMER:

All the information provided above are as per best knowledge of author. The author does not take responsibility for any information, found to be incorrect. Reader’s decision is requested.

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