Big Brother? Google’s new privacy policy creates one massive database of your most private info

Technology News Blog

Ever since George Orwell wrote his novel 1984 over sixty years ago, people have been on the look out for the all-knowing Big Brother. But few would have expected the role of Big Brother to be assumed by search giant Google, but a new privacy policy has people wondering if they've gone a step too far.

The new policy, which goes into effect on March 1, 2012, effectively combines the privacy policies of all the sites under the Google umbrella into one. Affected properties include Google search, GmailGoogle MapsGoogle+YouTubePicasa, and Android mobile, along with more than 60 others. Any information or data you give one of those sites will be shared amongst them all.

How do you opt out of the new Google privacy policy? Well, that's the biggest point of contention: you can't. Information about your YouTube choices might affect the Google search results you get, and your Google Maps usage might affect what ads you see the next time you search. Google will soon have a massive, all-inclusive database of your most private information, from your political leanings to your searches for prescription drugs. And there's nothing you can do about it, short of giving up your Google habit.

Despite the obvious privacy concerns, Google insists the change is in the best interest of users — allowing the company to better tailor content your specific interests. Still, for a company already under federal anti-trust investigation for manipulating search results to favor its own properties, such a wide-sweeping change to its privacy policy could bring even more unwelcome regulatory light.

[Image credit: Robert Scoble]


This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Tecca

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