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What does Google’s new Privacy Policy mean for you?

 

So Google has been busy redefining its privacy policy again which will take effect from 1st March 2012. It did it in 2010 but even after that it had 70 different privacy policies that covered their different products. That’s why Google’s been hard at work merging all those different privacy documents into one. But this action is not only about making it easier for the consumers to understand their privacy agreement with Google .

To quote Google directly from their blog:

“Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.”

By combining information across different products that its consumers use, Google aims to improve the search experience and make it more intuitive for its signed-in users:

“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”

In addition to the above by combining information from Google Maps and our calendars Google aims to tell us if we will be late for a meeting, based on the traffic information, our location and the meeting time. This one is quite neat in my view.

But it’s not like this won’t be any less advantageous for Google. While they say they will not share this information externally, there’s a whole lot they can do internally to cash in. More targeted ads are an example. While bringing benefits to the consumer, streamlined targeting would probably mean an increase in CPC for the advertisers, since the advertisers will probably bid more to get infront of the highly targeted audience.

From a overall consumer perspective though I don’t think that the consumers will really see any drastic negative shift in the way they search. Google already gives us options to combine information from other sources like G+ and Picasa. And I think search is getting personal. So if it helps to bring about better search results for me, then I don’t really mind if Google benefits as long as my personal information remains with them. After all, I am getting what I want as well.

But if you don’t like what Google is doing you can ofcourse delete all your accounts with it:

“We remain committed to data liberation, so if you want to take your information elsewhere you can”

Quite the cheeky statement from Google considering we can’t really stop using it just like that; especially when it’s so heavily integrated in our lives.  That’s Google for you 🙂

What does minutely worry me though, is if it gets too personal or if Google assumes that im searching for one thing, while I meant searching for another. What if Im really searching for an apple instead of Apple devices. I would hardly ever do that but what if I do. And how will Google deal with this? Something I’d like to see.

At the end of the day, like I said….search is getting personal and features like Google+ Search do give me a sense of eventually seeing results from sources I trust. So if sharing information across sources improves on this, then I don’t have any major reservations.

I would take great care of my Google account password though  :).

 
 
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