despite some objections from Canada’s privacy commissioner and others around the
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.
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
- 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.
Can I opt-out
of Google’s new privacy plan?
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
How to remove your search history:
- Log in to your Google account.
- On the right-hand side of the
page, click the icon that shows your avatar. A drop-down menu will appear.
- Click on “Account Setting”
- Scroll down to the ‘Services’
subsection. Click on ‘Go to web history.’
- Click the “Remove all web
- A prompt will appear, asking you
“Are you sure you want to clear your entire web history? Your web history
will also be paused.” Click “OK.”
- To remove your YouTube browsing
history, follow the steps below.
How to remove your YouTube search history:
- Click on the YouTube toolbar,
located near the top in your Gmail account.
- On the right-hand side,
click your user name. A drop-down menu will appear, select “Video
- On the left-hand side,
- A list of your previous searches
should appear. Select “Clear all viewing history.”
- A prompt will appear, asking you
“Are you sure you want to clear your entire viewing history? There is no
undo.” Click “Clear all viewing history.”
- Refresh your page.
- Now click on the “Pause viewing
- On the left-hand side, click
“Search History.” Select “Clear all search history.”
- Once again, a prompt will appear,
asking you “Are you sure you want to clear your entire search history?
There is no undo.” Click “Clear all search history.”
- Once again, refresh your page.
- Click on the “Pause search
- With files from The Canadian Press