According to the web giant, the new privacy setting gathers and compiles data about users based on their activity on various Google products and services-including Gmail, YouTube and the Google search page.
Google insists it had users in mind when it consolidated the privacy policies for most of its more than 70 products and streamlined the text. The amendments will remove some of the legal hurdles Google Inc. faces in trying to link information across services from Gmail to YouTube to the Google Plus social network that replaced Buzz.
As the changes take effect on March 1, here are five things you need to know about Google’s new privacy policies.
More relevant and refined search results. Google says the new system gives users more relevant search results and information, while helping advertisers find customers – especially on mobile devices. For example, if you spend an hour on Google searching the web for skateboards, the next time you log into YouTube, you might get recommendations for videos featuring Tony Hawk, along with ads for his merchandise and the nearest place to buy them. Your information, however, will be stored in one place
Your information can be shared between Google’s services. As mentioned above, users may begin to see advertisements in Google+ based on videos they watched on YouTube.
Your private information remains private. Google says that they won’t share users’ personal information without their permission, except in very rare circumstances like a valid court order. Google will not sell users’ personal information to third parties.
You still have choice and control. In a recent public blog post, policy manager Betsy Masiello says that users do not need to be logged into their account to use many of Google’s services, like Google Maps and YouTube.
Google’s privacy principles remain unchanged. According to Google, privacy principles will stay the same. Google says the new privacy changes aim to provide as much transparency and as much choice as possible, through products like Google Dashboard and Ads Preference Manager and other tools.
While users cannot opt out of the new policy if they want to continue using Google’s services, you can take some side-steps. Read them below.
Sign out of Gmail, Google+ or YouTube before you search: While Google may still be able to collect data if you’re logged out, it can only be by the computer’s IP address-and not your individual account.
Use a different search engine: Use a search engine that has a no-tracking policy.
Clear your web browser history (cache) to remove items such as tracking cookies. Details on how to remove your search history from Google and YouTube can be seen below.