GOOGLE PRIVACY FIX – FOR NOW
1. THE WHAT: All of your User information, including the content and preferences within any and all Google products (Gmail, Google Apps, Youtube, Maps, etc.) will be consolidated into one “platter”. Think of your information and the content within it literally as a platter of your favorite food, from which Google (and its affiliated advertisers) will now “eat” from. It’s all on one plate . As a result, Google now knows exactly what you like to eat, when you eat it, spice level, food portion size, color, smell, taste, and the utensils you like to eat it with. Previously, your information from various Google products was on different plates and in different shelves. Now it’s not. The ID to your platter is your Google login info.
2. THE IMPLICATION: Google allowe advertisers to cater to what your platter is. So if you are watching Hindi music videos on YouTube, Google sticks a local Indian restaurant ad banner in front of you. Where do they get this info from? The contents (i.e., the ingredients in your platter) are made of your YouTube video history, your email contents, your web search terms, your physical location info on Android’s GPS, the directions and destinations you search on Google Maps, the books you read on Google Books, and the articles and news you read from Google, for example. Bottom line: Google’s profile of you is much closer to being PERSONALIZED and IDENTIFIABLE than ever before, and this information is stored, retrievable (subject to subpoena) and passed onto third-parties. This is an unprecedented approach, simply because of the volume and accuracy of the content and data Google has, which is now consolidated (previously fragmented and subject to varying privacy terms). What Google has done with your info is up for argument. Google is the subject of many state Attorneys General’s investigations based on their representations of how that data was being used.
3. WHAT YOU CAN DO: This will “pause” the cross-product data sharing and your platter ID will not be associated with your data. But, this does not stop the actual data gathering. It simply makes your ID anonymous.
- Go to the Google homepage and sign into your account.
- Click the drop-down menu next to your name in the upper-right hand corner of your screen.
- Click accounts settings.
- Find the “Services section.”
- Under “Services” there is a sub-section that reads “View, enable, disable web history.” Click the link next to it that reads: “Go to Web History.”
- Click on “Remove all Web History.” You should receive a message stating that Web History is paused.
4. GOOGLE APPS USERS: How your data is shared across Google’s product lines, allegedly, remains subject to your enterprise contracts—IF you are a fee paying enterprise user. Check your Google-Apps enterprise contracts and policies for their terms and what they mean. For non-fee paying users, it seems, your use of Google products will be consolidated like everyone else.
There is no end to this discussion of Internet privacy and Google (or Facebook). But, I thought this would at least be somewhat relevant for you.
Raees is a Partner at the Lawfirm of Wong Fuji Carter, P.C. in Phoenix, AZ. He counsels clients through legal issues in a broad array of areas, including business entity selection and structuring, Internet privacy and online regulations, social media issues, software-as-a-service, corporate governance, growth strategies, intellectual property disputes, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, foreclosure and short sales, and in both transactional and litigation contexts. See his full profile and contact him here: http://www.wongfujiicarter.com/attorneys/raeesabbas_mohamed.php