Google’s announcement of big changes to its privacy policies on Tues, January 24, is raising big concerns about potential user profiling and access to user information.

What does this mean? According to reports it could mean when you search via Google, the company could, or will, (depending upon your point of view) use their activities on sites like Gmail and You Tube to influence user’s search results. Apparently Google has not done this before. This new privacy policy will take effect on March 1.

The analysts say that this is all about their major competitor Facebook that has amassed an huge amount of data about the lives of more than 800 million members. This is probably true. I have serious reservations about posting or saying anything on Facebook that the world doesn’t need to know.

Although it might be open to question Google, up until now, has not collected the  same type of information about its users but, as we know, Google has launched Google+ just as Facebook is gearing up this spring for its initial public offering.

So, it’s all about Google+. This month Google started including  information from Google+  in a members search results and this latest move allows the company to include information from Gmail and YouTube to search results as well. I’ve noticed this and the bottom line is that it  could certainly change the relationship between the world’s most popular search engine and their users.

eWeek.com has published a very interesting article about how “Google is changing its privacy policies around Google+, streamlining identity services and paring the terms of service. The move makes opting out hard, which will raise regulatory flags.

To read the article click on eWeek.com.

Click on Federal Computer Week to read their viewpoint.

 

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