Google Ignores Cries of Regulators, Implements New Privacy Policy

By Beecher Tuttle March 01, 2012

Despite a series of warnings from governments foreign and domestic, Google followed through on its earlier pledge and implemented its new privacy policy on Thursday.

The highly controversial move accomplishes two main goals for the search giant. One: it replaces more than 60 different privacy policies with one overarching agreement that will govern over all Google services. The company has said that the overhaul is an effort to "tidy up" and create a policy that is more consistent, easier to read and easier to understand.

But while doing that, Google is also taking user information provided for one service and sharing it will all other Google products. So if you search for information on a musician, Google could then recommend related videos on YouTube or try to sell you a new album through its Web ads.

The move will have the most profound effect on Android users, whose location can be used in combination with other Google products. In a video introducing the new policy, Google brags about how it will now be able to tell you if you will be late for a meeting based on your location, your calendar and location traffic conditions – even if you don't want them to.

Helpful? Possibly. Creepy? Definitely.

Consumer interest groups and federal regulators have asked Google to suspend the move but have so far failed in their efforts.

France's regulatory body said that the new policy fails to meet the requirements of European Union data protection rules and asked Google to rework the document. The National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties (CNIL) said in a letter to Google that it was "deeply concerned" with the manner in which personal data will be treated and has "strong doubts about the lawfulness and fairness of such processing."

In a separate letter, Attorneys General from 36 individual states criticized the new policy, noting that it "goes against a respect for privacy that Google has carefully cultivated as a way to attract consumers." The letter also chastised Google for its advice to users who don't want the company snooping on them: stop using our services.

"It rings hollow to call [the ability of users] to exit the Google products ecosystem a 'choice' in an Internet economy where the clear majority of all Internet users use -- and frequently rely on -- at least one Google product on a regular basis," the letter read.

As of today, the new policy is in effect. The only real way to stop Google from following you around is to take their advice and close your Gmail account, stop using YouTube, switch to another search engine and buy an iPhone. Expect the fight to continue.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More