Google’s Privacy Approach With Danny Sullivan and NPR

By: Chris Richardson - January 27, 2012

Google’s new privacy policy has been the topic of some discussion — although, perhaps not as much as expected — as their new multi-platform approach resulted in the creation of one privacy policy to rule them all, much like Sauron’s ring, but this time, without the overt use of the all-seeing Tower eye.

While Google may in fact be omniscient, at least in relation to the web, at least they aren’t in your face about it like the Eye of Sauron was. Geek-addled facetiousness aside, while the backlash may not have been what some expected, any time the words “Google” and “privacy” come together, it makes for an interesting topic. From Google’s perspective, it’s all about consolidation and personalization, something their disclaimer states quite clearly:

If you’re signed into Google, we can do things like suggest search queries – or tailor your search results – based on the interests you’ve expressed in Google+, Gmail, and YouTube. We’ll better understand which version of Pink or Jaguar you’re searching for and get you those results faster.

The privacy concerns about the sharing of this personal information across multiple platforms seemed to be addressed with the confirmation that Google users can indeed opt out, something Danny Sullivan discussed with Marketplace, which was broadcasted over NPR’s airwaves. Sullivan explains what Google’s privacy changes to the everyday user:

“…YouTube can see maybe what you’ve been searching on on Google web search and say, oh, you’re really interested in skateboarding so I’m going to prepopulate the YouTube homepage perhaps with a lot of skateboard videos.”

The full audio of Sullivan’s Marketplace appearance is also available:

As indicated, the opt out option appears to have taken the sting out of the privacy complaints, although, the opt out option does put the responsibility in the hands of the user. Does anyone else find it weird that Google’s new privacy policy is something of a consolidation effort, but if you don’t want to have information collected, you have to opt out of each individual Google property? While one policy may indeed rule them all, getting out from under it is site-by-site undertaking.

Chris Richardson

About the Author

Chris RichardsonChris writes about the Internet, in all of its unpredictable glory. You can find him on Google+, Twitter, and, of course WebProNews.

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  • Raul

    I’m worried about this new strategy to target ads more precisely collecting all this additional information on a user’s searches and emails. I’m not worried about what anyone could find out about me scrutinizing whatever data is there, just about how much time I will waste considering all those adds for products and services tailored to my interests. Fortunately I’m not on Twitter, Facebook or Google Talk. So I’m ‘shopping for a good alternative free email (I guess Yahoo will do) but which is a good search-engine?

  • anonymous

    google is obviously shooting for the future technologies that we all want even if we dont know about it yet. however, the trend seems to be to link your internet experience to your physical being and i see this as a problem because if you have to register an account for every service, you lose your anonymity and therefore your freedom to be honest without having to worry about undesirable consequences. this is a huge problem because this is one of the biggest advantages the internet offers us.