New Google privacy policies to go into effect

Sabri Ben-Achour Feb 29, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t actually taken the time to read the details of Google’s new privacy policy. Well, it goes into effect tomorrow.

And it’ll mean that as you search the web or check your Gmail account or watch a video on YouTube, it’ll be a whole lot easier for Google to keep track of you. Sabri Ben-Achour explains.

Sabri Ben-Achour: Actually, I’ll let Chris Gaither explain it, he’s a spokesperson for Google.  

Chris Gaither: Let’s say you do a lot of searches on Google for recipes. Next time you go to YouTube while you’re signed into the same Google account, you might see some recommendations to subscribe to a YouTube cooking channel, for example.

By combining the data it picks up on its various sites  into one profile, it will be easier for Google to target ads to you. David Jacobs is with the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

David Jacobs: The overarching problem is the loss of control for users. You can’t really opt out.

Do users know this? Have they even read the policy?

Ryan Calo: People didn’t read these privacy policies before and they’re not likely to read them now.

Ryan Calo is privacy director at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. But some people do read them — more than 30 attorneys general have Google a letter complaining about the policy.

I’m Sabri Ben-Achour for Marketplace.

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