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Google’s New Privacy Policy: Are You Freaked Out?

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Google’s New Privacy Policy: Are You Freaked Out?
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We’ve known for a while that Google was consolidating its privacy policies into one main one (with a few product exceptions), and today is the day that this goes into effect. What it all boils down to is that Google can share the data it has about you from Google service to Google service. It’s not sharing anything new with outside parties, just among its numerous services. The way Google presents it is that it will allow the company to make its products better and more personally relevant to the user.

Are you OK with Google’s new privacy policy or do you think it’s bad for users? Let us know where you stand in the comments.

>>> Check out WebProNews’ special page covering Google Privacy updated live. Subscribe to the Google Privacy RSS feed too!

The whole thing has blown up in the media since Google first announced the changes. I haven’t heard too many people talking about it in casual conversation, but there’s no question that some are concerned, though I suspect the majority clicked to “dismiss” the little notification that Google has been showing users with little thought or concern. People have, however, been pretty vocal about it on Twitter.

“As you use our products one thing will be clear: it’s the same Google experience that you’re used to, with the same controls,” Google’s Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering, Alma Whitten, wrote in a blog post. “And because we’re making these changes, over time we’ll be able to improve our products in ways that help our users get the most from the web.”

Whitten pointed out three “important points to bear in mind” regarding the policy:

1. Our Privacy Policy is now much easier to understand.
2. Our Privacy Policy will enable us to build a better, more intuitive user experience across Google for signed-in users.
3. Our privacy controls aren’t changing.

In a post in January about the changes, Google Director of Public Policy, Pablo Chavez, discussed five things that “aren’t changing”:

1. We’re still keeping your private information private — we’re not changing the visibility of any information you have stored with Google.

2. We’re still allowing you to do searches, watch videos on YouTube, get driving directions on Google Maps, and perform other tasks without signing into a Google Account.

3. We’re still offering you choice and control through privacy tools like Google Dashboard and Ads Preferences Manager that help you understand and manage your data.

4. We still won’t sell your personal information to advertisers.

5. We’re still offering data liberation if you’d prefer to close your Google Account and take your data elsewhere.

In a recent letter to Congress, Google explained that the old policies have restricted the company’s ability to combine info within an account for web history (search history for signed in users) and YouTube. “For example, if a user is signed in and searching Google for cooking recipes, our current privacy policies wouldn’t let us recommend cooking videos when she visits YouTube based on her searches – even though she was signed into the same Google Account when using both Google Search and YouTube,” Google said in the letter.

We’re already seeing other ways Google is trying to improve in this area. Earlier this week, the company listed 40 “search quality” changes it made in February. Among those, was a change to find more locally relevant predictions in YouTube.

Google’s SVP, Advertising, Susan Wojcicki, talked about the changes in a keynote at SMX West this week. As Shaylin Clark reported, she said that Google was doing its best to balance the interest of two very separate groups: advertisers and consumers.

The policy changes have drawn the ire of privacy watchdogs. EPIC, one such watchdog group has complained to the FTC, but the FTC decided they had no legal standing in the matter, but they did file an appeal. Still, FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz called the new policy “brutal.”

The EU and the Japanese government have also shown concern.

A consultant to regular Google critic, the FairSearch Coalition (made up of Google competitors, mind you), sent a letter to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), expressing concerns with the changes.

Various other privacy issues of Google’s past an present only serve to fuel the fire of controversy around what to some isn’t all that big a deal. I think that, as Facebook has been dealing with for years, much of the outcry is more related to perception. Things like the recent storyline around Safari and the launch of Google Buzz a couple years back tend to stick in people’s heads.

Our own Abby Johnson recently interviewed Danny Sullivan, who has been moderating conversations with Googlers this week at SMX West, about the changes. Here’s what he had to say:

If you are in the party that’s outraged by Google’s decision, you can either start using other services or take all the precautions Google has enabled you with to control how Google shares your data. In an article today, a colleague, Josh Wolford, put together some steps you can follow for the latter option.

Another colleague, Drew Bowling, put together a little list of some alternatives to various Google services. There are certainly other options beyond these, but they are potential considerations. Bowling writes:

Search – Google Search results will likely be the well from which Google collects most of your information under the new Privacy Policy and then uses it for whatever arcane purposes Google uses your information. While you can turn off your Web History as well as use Google’s own encrypted search, you could still always do one better by simply not using Google search directly (especially until the full application of the new Privacy Policy is witnessed and understood).

With Scroogle down for the count, the two viable not-Google contenders to take its place areDuckDuckGo and Gibiru. Both sites are pro-privacy and ensure users’ searches are encrypted by concealing your IP address from your search query. With either of these two search tools, your results will be the same as the basic results you get from Google.

Web-based Email – “The undiscovered country makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.” While Hamlet didn’t have something as trifling as Gmail in mind when he said this, consider the sentiment’s application when considering ditching your email. Your best free online alternative is likely Hotmail, but that service is owned by Windows. Fleeing Google for the cold embrace of Windows seems to belie any intent to emancipate and protect yourself from the corporate Eye of Sauron that you’re trying to avoid.The other thing is: Gmail’s really nice.

Another alternative you may consider is ZoHo mail, but with that you’re going to have less storage with a free account (you’ll have to pay in order to get more than 5GB). If you really want to spend some time weighing your alternatives, Wikipedia has a table comparing all of the more sought-after features for webmail services that might hasten your task.

Social Networking – I can’t recommend Diaspora enough as far as privacy goes, but the average Google+ user will have a hard time getting through the door as its still in Alpha and therefore new accounts are invite-only. The obvious and immediate alternative is Facebook but, similar to how I explained with the free email hosting above, you’d basically be trading one poison for another. Given you’re probably already on Facebook, and how nobody really seems to be adopting to Google+ that enthusiastically, this is one case where, if you must belong to a social network right now, stay with Facebook. Until Diaspora goes public.

Image sharing/hosting – Flickr. Flickr, Flickr, Flickr. There’s not really anything that can be said about Flickr that hasn’t been said before. It’s a great service, offers content protection for users, and just recently launched a savvy new look to users’ contacts. It incorporates the social aspect of photo-sharing and has a great user interface. Even if you’re not looking to ditch Google Picasa with all of this privacy hullabaloo, I still recommend giving Flickr a look. You may find that you outright prefer that service to Picasa and the less Google in your life at this point, the better.

Blogging – WordPress is likely to be your best alternative to Google’s Blogger. It offers up a comparable assortment of different themes for users to design their blogs, you can host your WordPress blog on your own server if you feel so inclined, and there are a host of add-ons you can apply to your blog. Tumblr might be a close second if you prefer a deeper social media aspect to your blogging, or if you lean towards brevity when it comes to composing your blog posts.

Browser – Firefox or Opera are going to be the two non-Google browsers that named as the preferred alternatives to Google’s Chrome. Depending on whether you’re a simple check-the-emails-and-maybe-Facebook user or a “power user,” the different resources offered by the two browsers should accomodate most people looking to unmoor themselves from Chrome. Firefox might be more familiar to casual users while Opera will likely make power users wild-eyed with excitement.

Reader – NetVibes is likely to be your best alternative but, unfortunately, you’re not going to have the complete array of features that Google Reader has. If you’re dependent on tagging articles you like or even being able to search your RSS feeds, that won’t be available to you with the free version. However, if those features aren’t all that necessary to your RSS experience then it might be worth your time to take a look at it.

Cloud storage – Dropbox is likely the service you’ve already heard of when it comes to cloud storage. Granted, Google’s GDrive was just announced recently so people have likely not begun migrating to Google’s cloud service yet, but Dropbox has worked great thus far . And you know what they say about things that ain’t broke.

If you’re a really dedicated anti-Google centurion, you could probably live an online life free of any of their apps if you don’t mind sacrificing some of the amenities offered from the Google World. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to be a tee totaler just to keep your information safe. Using Google apps isn’t completely bad – as mentioned above, some of their services really are probably the best you’re going to find for free – but lessening your dependency on the Google brand as a whole might serve you well.

Are the changes enough to make you consider using alternatives to Google? What is your biggest concern with the changes? Do you think all of the criticism is being blown out of proportion? Let us know in the comments.

Google’s New Privacy Policy: Are You Freaked Out?
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  • http://www.potterymarket.co.uk Emily

    Well I always prefer google over anything and its really very good that google is working continously to provide better things.

    • Rex

      hahahaha….

    • Jen

      I am on an internet dating site and the photo I posted is also on my facebook page. My settings are all friends only on Facebook. But my facebook picture and name pops right up now if anyone does a search of my photo. Of course I do not want anyone purusing my profile to get my name!!!!!!

  • Jemi Lee Van Zandt

    Google is killing the goose that lays the google egg! Google is trying to outsmart everyone and is going to end up doing a LOT of harm by invading peoples privacy. I feel sorry that they can’t see that what they are doing is WRONG!

    • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

      What is it EXACTLY that they are doing that is wrong?

      Selling information about you? Umm, nope.

      Publishing that information so that others can access and see it? Umm, nope, again.

      They are just using, INTERNALLY, what every other website, including this one, has access to.

      So again, what is it that Google is doing wrong?

    • Ben

      What are they doing wrong exactly?
      They have exectly the same info about you as before, but now instead of having a “youtube folder” with your youtube info and another “search folder” with your search info, they are going to put all that info and put it together all in one place so they can use it across their products.

      Only they ever see the info, its super secure somewhere on their secret servers. Where as other companies like facebook give your info to others, whenever you want to place a facebook game or “find out which twighlight character you are” you have to give away your info to others, and then after a while you realise that, thanks to facebook, many people now have your info.

      Educate yourself on it please.

  • Jemi Lee Van Zandt

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/microsoft-attacks-google-privacy-with-gmail-man/2012/02/06/gIQAkDbVtQ_video.html

    keep passing in on…. Google is creepy snoopy and not the dog! Boo! Super hissss!

  • Jemi Lee Van Zandt

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17205754

    Google is going to fail big time because of this…watch their stock plummet!

  • Jemi Lee Van Zandt

    New comment. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17205754

    Google is going to fail big time because of this…watch their stock plummet!

    • Jemi Lee Van Zandt

      double comment hmmm lag posting I guess.

  • http://www.hub-uk.com David Jenkins

    I don’t have a problem with the privacy changes but what I think should be of concern is Google’s behaviour.

    According to the BBC web site “Changes made by Google to its privacy policy are in breach of European law, the EU’s justice commissioner has said.”

    The BBC went on to report:

    France’s privacy watchdog CNIL wrote to Google earlier this week, urging a “pause” in rolling out the revised policy.

    “The CNIL and EU data authorities are deeply concerned about the combination of personal data across services,” the regulator wrote.

    “They have strong doubts about the lawfulness and fairness of such processing, and its compliance with European data protection legislation.”

    The regulator said it would send Google questions on the changes by mid-March. On Thursday, Ms Reding told BBC Radio 4′s World At One that conclusions from initial investigations had left CNIL “deeply concerned”.

    Does Google now think it is above the law and can just steamroller any opposition to what it wants to do?

    George Orwell wrote about Big Brother . . .

    • Ben

      All those claims dont say what is actually wronggg. They just say theyre “concerned”..

      No Google does not think they are above the law. They have the same info about me they always have.

      And unlike facebook that always change their policy but dont tell you until you find out, Google actually made sure everybody new about their update so we all know. They couldve kept it quiet and nobody wouldve cared. All this crap is just because they made a big deal out of it to help us understand.

  • http://www.wsigotwebsolutions.com David Duncan

    Well the privacy policy seems to be causing an outbreak of unintelligible language from Google. This is what I get when I logged into my YouTube account – try to make sense of this for me please -

    “Because organizational accounts can access products that were previously unavailable, when you go to certain products, Google doesn’t know whether you want to sign in with your organizational account (which was just given access to this product) or the personal account that was automatically created when you previously signed in to this product with your organizational email address. As a result, you need to select a different address for your personal account because your organization has reserved your address, and two accounts can’t have the same name.”

    I hope that’s clear. And just to add that the account already had 2 email addresses associated with it. Now it has to have 3.

    Thanks Google for consuming yet another hour of my day managing your stupid accounts and creating yet another email address I don’t need.

  • Greg

    The biggest problem that I have with it is that you really can’t opt out. Google says that it only tracks your information if you’re logged in to your gmail account. Don’t log in and there’s nothing to worry about, right? Wrong. In order to update my Android phone or use other features, I have to log in to my Google gmail account (opt-ing in) and when I’m done I have to be sure to log out (and try to find the link to log out). And, that’s just one example. Google had a good thing going but this is a definite wrong turn!

    • Ben

      Umm, you can. Theres several things you can opt out of, even tracking as a whole which nobody else does. Have you ever tried?

  • Kate Lennon

    Google is too big, too powerful, and too greedy. I see it as a kind of monstrous Pac-Man gobbling up the web (and beyond).
    Each new invasion of people’s privacy is always “to deliver a better service to users”, but they don’t do Google’s profits any harm, either.

  • CAC

    Google has crossed the line, I intend on shifting my business and searches elsewhere. To invade privacy is as wrong as it gets which is typical of the type of constitutional violations that are going on in our government. This is not acceptable and can’t be tolerated. It is a violation of trust, plain and simple.

  • Poplarman

    Seems to me that they’re providing a better ‘joined up’ service.

    I don’t like how they’re bulldozing it in but, like everything else on the internet, we don’t have proper policing.

  • Buffy

    I love Google, use a lot of its products, and recommend them to clients – but I think the new “privacy” policy is intrusive, obnoxious and potentially dangerous. I’ve gone as far as to now not sign in to Google in the browser I use all day – my loss, and theirs too, but I really don’t want my information shared between services.

  • Dave Roche

    I very rarely use Google search engine anymore. It seems to me when you are looking for something on Google it’s always their interpretation of what they think you should be looking for, not what you’re actually looking for.This suggests to me that Google’s search engine algorithm has more to do with marketing than to assist the casual surfer that might have an allergy to this kind of intrusion. Google’s new position on Privacy doesn’t surprise me as I have felt in the past an uneasy feeling when using their search engine because of their previous privacy rules never mind the updated one.

  • http://top-site.org/web/bachelorettepartyideas bachelorette party ideas

    Google is like a teenager armed with an AK47. Sadly we’ve all allowed it to grow too powerful, so that now, like the financial institutions a while back, Google is acting as if it’s too big to fail. I think the guys who head up Google are too young (immature) to really understand what they are doing or its consequences. Reality has its own way of dealing with the all powerful: know what happened to the dinosaur?

  • http://www.jdppropertymaintenance.co.uk dean king

    If when you accepted google’s privacy policy it stated “we dont care about you and will distribute your information however the fuck we want to” you might not have clicked accept. so they just waited untill they were big enough to not be able to be touched and now they do what the fuck they like and we cant stop them.

    do i agree with what they are doing?
    NO, not by a long shot.

    do ithink they have the right?
    NO, not in any way on earth.

    do i think i/we can do anything?
    NO, only if we burned their offices and smashed their servers
    but even then im sure thewy would still get round it.

    Google is too big and needs to have its wings clipped.

  • bob

    trouble what is very hard to go out from that google-monster. them know it and why doing it so easy. need to boycott google, but i not believe in it.

    so need to leave adsense and gwt accounts, and for all others need to use other web services (not based on google). Otherwise it will easy to have a completely dossier based on your sites, your email, sites you visit, etc. Google is monster now. Time to for antymonopoly laws to work!!
    But in usa it unlikely happen, because google & gov is a best friends.

  • Rex

    Is this site safe???? Is anything safe anymore…this country is *&^% up!!! The Prince of Darkness just pulled ANOTHER executive order skirting…demolishing!!! the Constitution…really what is going on here everyone? I’m moving because this place is going down. BTW, I cancelled Google services…yahoo is cool for now…maybe

  • http://www.hoststop.co.uk Amanda

    If they are going to share data amongst themselves, no issues with it. It will in return promote companies. It’s good that they are not going to share with other services. Google has been one of the most powerful companies till date & they won’t misuse the data at any cost. After all, they already of loads of data. If they had to misuse, they would have been done this way too before.

  • Jacki

    I’m already moving to alternative services. THis was the last straw for me. The other major beef I have is with Youtube and their ridiculous “copyright” policy where fictitious companies can claim CR over public domain material or even your own material forcing users to have to provide personal details to random people in order to challenge things that should never be in dispute in the first place. Anyway – all this breaching of privacy etc from Google and it’s services does my head in. I’d rather find alternatives and stay well out of their range.

  • alan

    Under no circumstances do you ever save/store/keep any searches I do on Google and NEVER send that information anywhere. You are a search site and get revenue from advertising displays. If you continue with this ‘big brother’ attitude, you can forget having me use your site at all !!! STUFF YOU GOOGLE

  • Mad Bear

    I hate the new Google policy.
    Changed over to duckduckgo.com works better than big brother (google)

  • John Marin

    I have removed everything I had about Google, all tool bars, search engines, EVERYTHING. If Google needs all of my info, it will have to search it out somewhere else. I want nothing to do with Google, or in fact, anyone else who wants to keep info on me.

  • http://www.webdesignjustforyou.com/blog Eileen Forte

    Even though it sounds as if Google is NOT changing privacy policies regarding sharing private information with third parties but only with its own divisions, at the rate Google is buying other companies out, your private information may end up being shared with a lot more people and companies than you realize.

    Unless Google asks permission to share each and every time it buys another company to share private information with that “new” division, personally, I don’t like the idea of my information being automatically made available to that new purchased company without my say so.

  • baines

    Pity the Data Protection Act is not universal – it has its drawbacks, but it does form the basis for protection of one’s data.
    There should be some system for ‘opting out’ of the action.

  • Bob Cotterell

    I will no longer use google or its services

  • http://www.simplyclicks.com/blog/ David Burdon

    I’m not freaked out about the privacy policy but definitely concerned. Its not Google’s dominance of search but the way its tentacles now spread out across the online and mobile space. Secondly some services are very difficult to use without being signed in e.g. Android. Its insulting that you have to opt out when an organisation is collecting so much personal data.
    No other comparable media organisation would get away with such a move. Don’t be surprised to see major moves in Europe.

  • Oriole

    Yes, I too think this is potentially dangerous. As it is, when I search a topic, Google will often come up with an advertisement rather than the factual content which I am looking for.

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    Oh no!!! All my private data that I give Google, Google is now going to be able to use!!!

    Oh, wait, I don’t give them any ‘private’ data.

    Paranoid much?

    They aren’t tracking the porn searches I make though, I hope. :-P

    Seriously though, all Google is saying is that the right hand of Google will now have access to what the left hand has access to, and people have a problem with this???

    People take themselves WAY too seriously.

    • Kate Lennon

      I disagree. I don’t think people take themselves too seriously at all. Quite the reverse, in fact. People have been lulled into a false sense of security by Google’s early “do no evil” ethos and idealistic image, but now it has grown into an incredibly powerful Frankenstein monster, and the feelgood stuff is now corporate PR.
      Personal privacy is important. Why should we give up our privacy just so that some multinational corporation can make a profit?
      And there are all kinds of political ramifications to this, too. It’s not only Google that has access to this “private” information. It can be accessed by all kinds of people and agencies (police, intelligence agencies, government agencies, tax departments, private investigators, and, of course, hackers). Remember, there are pro democracy activists languishing in Chinese prisons as we speak, because Google have their “private” details to the authorities.

    • MaxD

      For sure, What are they afraid of some one will find out what their preference sock color. Get Real folks all your info was out there already waiting for who ever wanted it weather or not.
      If your not doing any thing wrong who cares IMHO

  • Lyn

    I went to sign up for Google+ and found out about the new “privacy” policy. I left. I wasn’t impressed at all. For all sorts of reasons, people don’t want things all over the web made public. I don’t use IE and haven’t for a long time, hate the way search has gone. One of your other comments is right, they give you what they think and not what you actually want. My husband could never keep me under his thumb, sure as hell not going to let Google do it!!

    • Kate Lennon

      No, I don’t think people take themselves too seriously at all. Quite the reverse, in fact. People have been lulled into a false sense of security by Google’s early “do no evil” ethos and idealistic image, but now it has grown into an incredibly powerful Frankenstein monster, and the feelgood stuff is now corporate PR.
      Personal privacy is important. Why should we give up our privacy just so that some multinational corporation can make a profit?
      And there are all kinds of political ramifications to this, too. It’s not only Google that has access to this “private” information. It can be accessed by all kinds of people and agencies (police, intelligence agencies, government agencies, tax departments, private investigators, and, of course, hackers). Remember, there are pro democracy activists languishing in Chinese prisons as we speak, because Google have their “private” details to the authorities.

    • Kate Lennon

      No, I don’t think people take themselves too seriously at all. Quite the reverse, in fact. People have been lulled into a false sense of security by Google’s early “do no evil” ethos and idealistic image, but now it has grown into an incredibly powerful Frankenstein monster, and the feelgood stuff is now corporate PR.
      Personal privacy is important. Why should we give up our privacy just so that some multinational corporation can make a profit?
      And there are all kinds of political ramifications to this, too. It’s not only Google that has access to this “private” information. It can be accessed by all kinds of people and agencies (police, intelligence agencies, government agencies, tax departments, private investigators, and, of course, hackers). Remember, there are pro democracy activists languishing in Chinese prisons as we speak, because Google have their “private” details to the authorities.

      • http://vaporbluntreview.com Vaporblunt

        Said it better than I could have. Anything Google does is in order to tighten their stranglehold on the internet and make more profit. Period. Plain and simple.

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steve G

    It’s a nice thought that you can take your data elsewhere, but where exactly would you take it to? Just put it on some hard drive and store that drive in a shoe box in the closet? It’s not like I can bring that data over to Microsoft or Yahoo or anybody really and they’ll use it to benefit my user experience.

  • http://www.therchelistore.com Mike

    I’m pretty surprised by all of the uproar over the Privacy Policy. Even more surprised everyone is actually reading it…..

    Google already has all of this information, just like Facebook. Do the people that are so scared of Google really think they haven’t been sharing this information within company walls?

    This change will not have any affect on you except allowing Google to target more specific ads to you if you are logged in. And it’s not like they haven’t been doing this for years. The only change is that they will be able to charge their advertisers more because they will be able to sell more ‘targeted’ ads.

    This is no big deal. Google is not going to be able to ‘come after’ you – unless you are doing something REALLY wrong while logged into Google.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BobWagnerInc Bob Wagner

    Do people still think that anything at all posted online is really private? If you don’t want the world to see it, don’t post it on the WORLD WIDE WEB, period.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Captain Cyberzone

    There are alternative search engines (SE’s) like Bing or Ixquick and then there’s: “Having Fun With Google” … use the other SE’s for serious searches and use Google for ‘goofing on Google’ searches … it would be fun to see what kind of ads they throw at you.
    And don’t be foolish enough to continue using Google services if you care about your privacy, also, clear out your cookies regularly.

    But, if you have nothing to hide and/or don’t suffer from paranoia it could be a time saving experience.

  • http://www.cottonprint.co.uk Rick

    Hmm – Google is helping the web user by making it’s products better and more relevant to the user – how very altruistic and wholly benevolent of them. I guess it kind of helps to get a little drink out of the advertisers clamouring to target their products directly to potential consumers helps and makes Nanny Google feel very good about herself indeed, nurturing her billions of children. This slick sterile gloss wrapped up in a personalised experience that they are applying to their service is, for me, paradoxically , taking away any feeling of independence, discovery and spirit of adventure that surfing used to hold.

  • James Ryan

    I hope someone organises that in future every Google user sends silly emails with ridiculous words and phrases on a regular basis. We should also do the most obscure searches. e.g., “giraffe with hunps in Alaska” and then browse the results. It would soon reduce Googles ability to spy on us.

    • http://duckduckgo.com Alexis Perrier

      very good idea. I’m always looking for “giraffe with hunps in Alaska”

  • http://ephedrinewheretobuy.com Mike Budd

    “What it all boils down to is that Google can share the data it has about you from Google service to Google service. It’s not sharing anything new with outside parties, just among its numerous services.”

    Seriously, I don’t see the problem here, they have the data you provide them, so using it across their services, where is the problem??

    If this really bother you, switch to the alternative services listed by Drew Bowling’s…

  • Jacob

    I’ll be frank, I really don’t see a problem with it. It’s not like they’re doing anything different from most other companies out there. If you sign up for a service, it only makes sense for the service provider to have the ability to review the information you give them internally.

    The only difference is that Google provides a large number of services. So essentially, they’re just trying to consolidate their services to act under a single provider. Again, I don’t really see the problem here.

  • http://www.greyolltwit.com/ Grey Olltwit

    I think Google may well have shot themselves in the foot with this change. The key point in my view is Google gathers the information on a much more personal level when you are ‘signed in’ to your Google account. If you are not signed in, then it gathers much less info, just general surfing habits like every other large service provider.

    Maybe a lot more people will decide only to log in to Google when they need to e.g. for gmail and then out again when they’re done. Maybe they will even go back to their Yahoo or Hotmail accounts for mail and not bother with Google at all. I personally don’t use gmail but I do log in for some other services I use but then log out again, straight after.

  • http://rjnselection.co.uk Rich

    Google has transformed the way all of us live and work, you carnt really expect to get it all for free. I’ve heard a saying – if you use free online services then you are the product

  • Marion Montalbano

    I will continue to Google – - love the convenience.

  • Thomas

    We are all going to have to get used to the increasing power of the technology we are so ardently embracing. Google has done nothing more than what comes naturally. They want to deliver a better product to their advertisers and clients by using the information inputted by users. They have the ability to do it and now they’ve done it. No one has been harmed. We all still have the ability to control what Google knows about us by using the Google dashboard where you can delete, modify and change almost everything up to and including closing your Google accounts and taking your business elsewhere.

  • http://duckduckgo.com Alexis Perrier

    To protect my privacy and avoid the filter bubble i’ve changed my search engine to http://duckduckgo.com.
    And for once it seems to be a viable alternative.
    it’s liberating to rediscover the web. results are pretty good. and you get to discover new web sites that you didn’t know of.

  • http://karras-bommer.blogspot.com Karras Bommer

    First, I have no problem with Google, in fact I trust Google much more than, say, Facebook. Second, I like having the cyberspace fragments of me linked into one mighty source and finally, I’ve got nothing to hide.

  • http://www.dirtworks.net john meshna

    I don’t like this change and I don’t much like Facebook and how it works or many of the other breaches of privacy on the internet but it doesn’t seem like we can do anything about it anymore. Corporations are out of control and rule like tyrants around the world. Unless you want to go live in a cave you;re pretty well screwed.

  • James

    I closed all my accounts two days ago. That was my respond. The same as when the banks thought they were going to charge me for doing thei work for them. It was amazing how quick they reversed them selves when customers ran out the door. This also happened when several companies started to charge for the way people were paying their bills with their company. Hey we are the customer and we have the power to change things by not buying their product.

  • chase

    There is a very simple reason people opted too use Google in the first place. Simplicity with out all the bs ads. For that sole reason Google won over the public as the number one used search engine.

    If Yahoo and others had done the same years back we’d be talking about them.

    Do I use and will I continue to use Google…? Sure why not.

    But that said, I used Dogpile toll they changed and others.

    For serious searches and to get past the filtering by the search engines, I use what all search engines use, if you are unfamiliar with how to search the “real net” Google it. lol

    You be surprised at what you’re missing out on.

  • http://www.website-consultancy.com/ David Carley

    It’s all about advertising revenue, luckily we still have the freedom of choice to ignore the adverts.

  • http://www.surveyexpress.co.uk Ian Guest

    It is yet another way Google is trying to cash in on their search monopoly and at the same time trying to offset any expansion by Facebook. Facebook’s page formate is too concentrated on making money (or justify the large share price), so what does Google do, copy them! Google’s search engine page has become too money making, too cluttered and a complete mess. I don’t want my searches to be altered or adjusted to suite my past searches, emails etc. etc. All I want is a decent search engine that is clean and simple! Come on EU and US government’s investigate Google and see what they are truly up to!

  • ches

    Theres a lot of media panic about Google+
    and theres even more panic amongst the users, more like “Chicken Little.”

    BUT – I still have to see one known IT authority talk or demonstrate a negative factor.

    I am wondering if I should quit, I’ve already withdrawn all monitoring permissions and the same applies with Yahoo!, who did it a few months back and the sky did not fall then either.

    I’d like to hear someone I can trust explain the user provacy concerns – so far it just panic merchants. (As usual)

    Ches

  • guinny

    many of my friends have left google this week including me.they have gone too far,we have all switched search engines too.

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