GovLaunch: Google is Watching You

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Corey McCarren 6 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #151006

    Allison Primack

    An article in GCN this morning discussed Google’s new plan to track users across all of it’s services in order to provide a more personalized service. Privacy advocates have become weary of the new plan:

    On March 1, the Web giant will combine tracking for Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Docs, Google +, search, maps and other services, putting user information — a lot of which Google already had — into one database and treating each user as one individual across those sites. Only the Chrome browser, Google Books and Google Wallet aren’t included.

    The only way to opt out of this is to close your Google account.

    Alma Whitten, the company’s director of privacy, product and engineering, explained in her blogpost that the idea behind the plan is to create a “beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google.” For example, say you have a meeting scheduled, and Google notices that your location is a half-hour away. It will send you a notification reminding you to start heading to your meeting.

    However, this new system raises concerns.

    “Google’s new privacy announcement is frustrating and a little frightening,” James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, said in a statement reported by AddWeek. “Even if the company believes that tracking users across all platforms improves their services, consumers should still have the option to opt out, especially the kids and teens who are avid users of YouTube, Gmail, and Google search.”

    Are you okay with Google seeing everything you do online?

    Google’s all-seeing eye: Good or bad for users?

  • #151012

    Corey McCarren

    That graphic is awesome. I’m surprised that wasn’t the logo on for Data Privacy Day! I don’t think that there is a doubt that it will create a better user experience. The question is, at what cost? I don’t really need Google to do everything for me, and while I appreciate their services and think that they are great, the “service integration” thing is getting a little bit excessive. I don’t want the Internet everywhere I go holding my hand.

  • #151010

    Dan Israel

    The goal of the new Google privacy policy is to simplify it & make it easier for our users to understand. In fact, by doing this, we’ll reduce the number of words in the privacy policy by 85%.

    Please read this post on the Google Public Policy blog to help clear up some questions that were raised about the new privacy policy:

  • #151008

    Corey McCarren

    Hey Dan, really cool seeing someone from Google commenting on this. I personally don’t think that Google is going to go around exploiting me (don’t be evil!). However, the Internet seems to be creeping into every aspect of daily life, and I find it to be a troublesome trend. There are awesome uses for the Internet, and I think Google has thought of them all. I guess an example for me is that Facebook has gotten kinda weird telling the whole world what news I’m reading, where I am, ect., without me even realizing it. I feel as if that isn’t as inherent in G+, but that type of inter-platform communication is coming with this announcement. I’d love to hear what you think of this, and am glad to see you are a GovLooper!

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