Google to Merge User Data Across Products

Lora Bentley

Does Google not remember it's already under extreme scrutiny from regulators regarding privacy practices? The company announced this week that it is changing its policies to track user activity across email, search, YouTube, Blogger and any of its other services. The goal, according to the Privacy Policy Overview, is "to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience" that is tailored to the user.


Alma Whitten, privacy director for product and engineering, explains:

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.

According to The Washington Post, those who use Google's services will not be able to opt out of the latest changes, which will become effective March 1. So has Google forgotten how much flack Facebook fought off every time it made changes without giving users an option? Not exactly. Whitten assured users, "We try hard to be transparent about the information we collect, and to give you meaningful choices about how it is used."


If that's not enough, users always have the option of discontinuing their Google accounts, or any one of the Google services accessed by those accounts.

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