Google is Terrifying: Privacy Policy Shift “Consolidates Google Experience”

Few people read Google’s blog. It’s just not very interesting to most people to read about the dev process of something they enjoy; they’d rather just continue to enjoy said thing without knowing about the guts inside of it and how they were made. I’m one of those people myself. However, yesterday Google posted something kind of worrisome. As you can see from the cute cartoon video using non-threatening language, Google is now taking the information they were already gathering about you from independent services (such as Gmail, Youtube, Blogspot, and so on) and consolidating it under your account.

Given the sheer amount of information Google knows about you—which videos you like to watch, embarrassing things you search for, even your real name if you use the ill-fated Google+, as they don’t like you using fake names—this may be a bit frightening. It’s in the name of a highly consolidated Google experience, in their words, but getting extremely targeted ads about something embarrassingly private that you searched once all over every Google-owned service is a little odd. I, personally, don’t want to open Youtube to show a funny video to someone I want to impress and have the entire homepage covered in Fascinating Aida; as hilarious as they are, that may not exactly give a normal impression.

What does this mean for us Kenyonites, though? All of us have Google accounts by default because of our Kenyon email accounts. These Google accounts contain our last names, clues to our first names, and where to find us (in the Kenyon College directory). Even without a linked Google+ account, that creates permanent links in the Google databases between our real-life identities and what we search on Google and Youtube. And, well, if Google can discard their “don’t be evil” motto and change their privacy policy once, who knows whether they’ll decide in the future that it “improves the Google experience” to allow database access to third parties?

Source: Gizmodo

One response

  1. Pingback: Abandoning the Google Ship « The Inactive Activist

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