Google to discuss new privacy policy, you are not invited

Google, quite possibly, knows more about you than your own family does. As the company collects data to better align the advertisements to your interest, many feel that it is also invading your privacy.

Google has gone to great lengths to make it known that its privacy policy will soon be changing. The new policy will allow Google to cross-examine data from all of its products to tailor the advertisements and search results to align with your needs.

Yes, it all sounds great when it comes to creating a better product for the consumer but there is one big problem, “Google will not permit users to opt out of this information collection and sharing across platforms and devices” according to the USA Today.

Congress is surely a bit concerned about this and has called Google to explain the changes and will do so this week; but don’t even think about attending. The closed door event will only be open to a few members of congress from the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

It is unclear why the meeting will be behind closed doors and who actually requested that the meeting be held privately. The irony is not lost in that a new privacy policy that is designed to make things more transparent will be discussed privately to members of Congress who are publically voted in to office.

Google is working to consolidate its products and give the end user the best experience possible and to do that it needs data from all of its sources. Google knows that it has a power stance on the market and even if consumers do not agree with the change, they will most likely accept it as it will remain invisible to them.

Image Credit: MarketingLand.com

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25 Comments

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Congress needs to pass a law requiring the option to opt out of any of this. Thats the only way it will change, and Google would have to do it.

I agree and I recently deleted my gmail account but had to leave an email address so I could log into "google services". Even when you leave they still want a piece of you.

What a waste of time and energy. All they're doing is consolidating the data they already have in order to make the user experience more consistent. That's very clearly outlined and very easy to understand. They gave people bright colors and pretty pictures and everything and people still don't get it. Google isn't doing anything horrible/sinister/vile/evil/oppressive/intrusive with this change.

Google knows that it has a power stance on the market and even if consumers do not agree with the change, they will be forced to accept it.

Got that right.

Look at the Youtube change. Such a huge backlash of negative feedback on the forums yet they didn't even give a damn. Soon the same thing is happening to Gmail, and there will be the same negative backlash, and the same damn not being given.

Google lost sight of the vision it had. When is another company going to replace them?

DAOWAce said,

Google lost sight of the vision it had. When is another company going to replace them?


Won't be that easy?

DAOWAce said,

Google lost sight of the vision it had. When is another company going to replace them?


Won't be that easy?

I use Bing! Not just because of Google being Google, but because I just like it better - except for the financial site. Google Finance is still better, but I wouldn't actually set up a portfolio on there. I don't want that to be part of the profile Google creates of me.

If MS made a really awesome Metro style financial site/portfolio manager, I'd be all over it.

You know, at least one year ago I sat at Starbucks in Osnabrueck and I read about them going to gather all info about you to customize your experience.
Two things:
1) I think this has the potential to REALLY benefit the end user experience. Honestly. They store the data anyway, all that changes is how the processing is pushed to you. This is a little less about privacy IMHO. It's what will be presented to you. Don't bother too much about that, honestly. Except:
2) Imagine you have some quirky fetish and google that, maybe even quite often, or you had a prankster on your computer once and your best buddy played a trick on you googling for something you'd consider embarrassing or obscene. Now, wait for the day for this appearing as "suggested" or "you will like this!" haunting you back. No problem, until someone sits next to you and wonders "WTF?!"

Now, I personally am quite cool about all that, because those people I have around and would use Google (logged in) with know how weird I am.
But I can imagine maaaany having gripes about that.

Remember guys, from the current situation to the new one, there is not much changing in terms of "what they know about you", but how they will present their knowledge to you.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,
You know, at least one year ago I sat at Starbucks in Osnabrueck and I read about them going to gather all info about you to customize your experience.
Two things:
1) I think this has the potential to REALLY benefit the end user experience. Honestly. They store the data anyway, all that changes is how the processing is pushed to you. This is a little less about privacy IMHO. It's what will be presented to you. Don't bother too much about that, honestly. Except:
2) Imagine you have some quirky fetish and google that, maybe even quite often, or you had a prankster on your computer once and your best buddy played a trick on you googling for something you'd consider embarrassing or obscene. Now, wait for the day for this appearing as "suggested" or "you will like this!" haunting you back. No problem, until someone sits next to you and wonders "WTF?!"

Benefit me by showing me more relevant ads that I might click on? The ****?

Glassed Silver said,
You know, at least one year ago I sat at Starbucks in
Remember guys, from the current situation to the new one, there is not much changing in terms of "what they know about you", but how they will present their knowledge to you.

What? Present their knowledge? You mean ads? What the **** is wrong with you? I don't want Google's "knowledge" and I don't want anybody storing my information for me.

Jebadiah said,

Benefit me by showing me more relevant ads that I might click on? The ****?

What? Present their knowledge? You mean ads? What the **** is wrong with you? I don't want Google's "knowledge" and I don't want anybody storing my information for me.


It's not just ads, also... why should I care how relevant the ads I get are?
They either are or not... So what? Can't I not ignore them still?

Of cause Google uses your data for all that stuff, they do already now however, so in that regard not much is added afaik.

GS:mac

In other words, just as usual with Terms of Service. The way to opt out of the terms is to not use the service. Why on Earth would Google as the only company in the world somehow discuss a new privacy policy with their users? Google supports deleting your Google Account, unlike many other web services.

The irony is not lost in that a new privacy policy that is designed to make things more transparent will be discussed privately to members of Congress who are publically voted in to office.

I seriously don't see the problem? The resulting policy, if any changes are made, will be presented to you as an end user. Companies NEVER discuss how policies like these should be formed in the open by inviting the public into a company meeting. I don't think it has ever happened in history.

Edited by Northgrove, Feb 1 2012, 4:37pm :

boumboqc said,
I don't know they are acting like this.
What is the need ?

They rewrote their privacy policy so that they wouldn't need to have around 50 different privacy policies for various services under the Google umbrella.

I think Google have been really clear that they are changing their privacy policy.
I think you would have to be blind not to see this..

Wombatt said,
I think Google have been really clear that they are changing their privacy policy.
I think you would have to be blind not to see this..

ye I got several emails saying about it, but they hide what they mean with loads of extra padding so its not easy to get what they are doing.

although I may switch back to firefox soon because I do not want to have everything I do logged.... its creepy

Wombatt said,
I think Google have been really clear that they are changing their privacy policy.
I think you would have to be blind not to see this..

Small privacy policy = Lots of loopholes Google can exploit.

JAB Creations said,
The government is elected to represent the people though they are not entitled to hide the policy of the people from the people.

It's true that is what we elect them to do, but the sad reality is they actually do what rich companies pay them to do.

Skyfrog said,

It's true that is what we elect them to do, but the sad reality is they actually do what rich companies pay them to do.

behind the closed doors:
"So, Microsoft paid us $2gajillions to interrogate you. How much are you willing to pay us to get away with it?"