Google’s privacy changes include Android

Google chances its privacy policies

Google is making some sweeping privacy changes to better integrate its products into a single, unified product and this will also include Android, the company said in a blog post. If you don’t like it, it’s too bad because the privacy changes won’t have an opt-out option.

Basically, starting March 1, whenever you sign into your Google Account, the search giant will be able to use your information from a variety of its services to deliver its ads. As the Washington Post points out, this means you could be watching clips of basketball on YouTube and then see an ad for tickets in your Gmail account, even if you never sent or received an e-mail about it.

Google lays it all out in a long blog post and in the video at the bottom of the post.

What does this mean in practice? The main change is for users with Google Accounts. 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.

From Google’s perspective, this makes a ton of sense, as it can use all of its knowledge about your location, searches, videos, e-mail, Google+ interactions, docs and more to better deliver services and ads to you. The problem with this is that it is opt-out and it will definitely bring some more scrutiny about Google’s privacy issues.

For all the good vibes surrounding Google, Android and the company’s fight against SOPA/PIPA, it’s important to remember what Google’s business model is: it wants to gather as much information about users in order to deliver more relevant ads. That’s not a bad thing per se, as advertising has its place in the world and some ads are actually good – think about movie trailers. The Android angle may give some the heeby jeebies though because it’s harder for users to switch off their phone mid-stream than it is to switch from Google search or Gmail.

What do you think friends? Is this going to be a more integrated and focused Google or is should we be really worried about how much information about our lives Google has?

[Via Google, photo via Shutterstock, SVLuma]

  • Guest

    With low battery performance and high data charges this would be a pain.

  • Righteous Bob

    So much for
    google’s slogan… It’s time to rearrange my online experience with something
    other than google.   I had loved google
    ever since they bought DejaNews, but slowly they have eroded that love to
    annoyance and now frustration.   Ah, no
    big…most of the American Idol/Idiot Reality TV Show Generation won’t even
    notice.

    Deleted my
    youtube account.

    Deleted two of my three gmail accounts, and once
    I set up somewhere else; all gmail accounts will be deleted.  So long google, it was fun while it lasted.

  • Righteous Bob

    So much for
    google’s slogan… It’s time to rearrange my online experience with something
    other than google.   I had loved google
    ever since they bought DejaNews, but slowly they have eroded that love to
    annoyance and now frustration.   Ah, no
    big…most of the American Idol/Idiot Reality TV Show Generation won’t even
    notice.

    Deleted my
    youtube account.

    Deleted two of my three gmail accounts, and once
    I set up somewhere else; all gmail accounts will be deleted.  So long google, it was fun while it lasted.

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