D-Day for Google Privacy Policy Change

So, March 1st is here. Google had implemented its infamous Privacy Policy change, that had been anticipated for a while now.

Google is combining all policies for each of their 70 services into one comprehensive policy. The search giant also merging all history and data into one giant profile of you, your searches, your contacts, your browsing history and more.   See Google’s new Privacy Policy. Whether you are for this new policy or against it, take this time to review the data you’ve shared with Google so far.
As you may know, Google collects information for various purposes – for example, to figure out basics which language you speak or where you are located, as well as more complex things like which ads would be best targeted based on your browsing habits or preferences.
This type of information is collected in two ways:
  • Information you give up directly. For example, many of Google’s services require you to sign up for a Google Account. When you do, you are  asked for personal information, like your name, email address, telephone number or credit card. To take it a step further, you can opt for  a publicly visible Google Profile, which may include your name and photo.
  • Information Google gets from use of their services. We may collect information about the services that you use and how you use them, like when you visit a website that uses our advertising services or you view and interact with our ads and content. Think about the Google services you use now or have used in the past, and what kind of information you might have shared there.

So, for those of you who are impression “I use XYZ search engine, and have nothing to do with Google”, think – have you used any of the these items in the last few years?

Note: the following Google properties list represent brand names or labels, not just terms – for example, when you see “Real Estate” – the reference is to the real estate listings actually flagged in Google Maps – Google Real Estate project was short lived: it was  launched in July 2009 and discontinued February 10, 2011.

Web-based products

These products must be accessed via a web browser:

Search tools

  • Google search
  • Accessible Search
  • Google Alerts
  • Blog search
  • Google Books
  • Google Custom Search
  • Directory
  • Experimental Search
  • Google Finance
  • Google Groups
  • Hotpot
  • Google Image Search
  • Language Tools
  • Life Search (Google China)
  • Movies
  • Google News
  • Google Patent Search
  • Product Search
  • Google Scholar
  • SMS
  • Google Video
  • Web History or Personalized Search

Account management products

  • Dashboard
  • Takeout

Advertising services

  • AdMob
  • Google AdSense
  • Google AdWords
  • Adwords Express
  • Google Certification Program – Google AdWords
  • DoubleClick
  • DoubleClick for Publishers by Google
  • DoubleClick for Publishers by Google
  • Google Grants
  • TV Ads
  • Google Website Optimizer

Communication and publishing tools

  • FeedBurner
  • Google 3D Warehouse
  • Google Apps
  • Blogger
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Boutiques
  • Google Business Solutions
    • Feedburner
    • Google AdWords
    • Google AdSense
    • Google Analytics
    • Google Enterprise Search solutions
    • Google Apps
    • Google Checkout
    • Google Local Business Center
    • Google Merchant Center
    • Google Trusted Stores
    • Postini
    • Google Webmaster Central
    • Google Ad Manager
    • Google Maps and Earth Solutions
    • Google Website Optimizer
    • Google Site Search
    • Google Friend Connect.
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Docs
  • Google Friend Connect
  • Gmail
  • Google URL Shortener
  • Google+
  • iGoogle
  • Marratech e-Meeting
  • Orkut
  • Panoramio
  • Picasa Web Albums
  • Picnik
  • Google profile
  • Google Reader
  • Google Sites.
  • SMS Channels
  • Speak To Tweet
  • Google Voice
  • Web Fonts
  • YouTube

Development resources

  • Google App Engine
  • Google Closure Tools
  • Google Code
  • Dart
  • Google Go
  • OpenSocial
  • Page Speed
  • Google Swiffy
  • Google Web Toolkit
  • Webmaster Tools

Map-related products

  • Google Body
  • Google Building Maker
  • Google Map Maker
  • Google Maps
  • Google Mars
  • Google Moon
  • Google Sky
  • Google Transit

Statistical tools

  • Google Analytics
  • Correlate
  • Google Fusion Tables
  • Google Insights for Search
  • Google Refine
  • Trendalyzer
  • Google Trends
  • Zeitgeist

Operating systems

  • Android
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Google TV

Desktop applications

  • AdWords Editor
  • Google Chrome
  • Google Earth
  • Gmail Notifier
  • IME
  • Google Japanese Input
  • Picasa
  • Picasa Web Albums Uploader
  • Google Pinyin
  • Quick Search Box
  • Wireless access
  • SketchUp
  • Google Toolbar
  • Visigami

Mobile applications

Mobile web applications

  • Blogger Mobile
  • Google Calendar
  • Docs
  • Gmail
  • iGoogle
  • Google Latitude
  • Maps Navigation
  • Mobilizer
  • Google News
  • Google Offers
  • Orkut
  • Picasa Web Albums
  • Google Product Search
  • Google Reader
  • Google Wallet
  • Google Currents

Mobile standalone applications

  • Books
  • Gmail app
  • Google Goggles
  • Listen
  • Maps
  • Google Music
  • Reader
  • Shopper
  • Sky Map
  • Google Sync
  • Talk
  • Translate
  • Google Voice app
  • Yinyue
  • YouTube spp
  • YouTube Remote

Hardware

  • Google Mini
  • Nexus One
  • Nexus S
  • Galaxy Nexus
  • Google Search Appliance

Services

  • Google Crisis Response
  • Google Public DNS

Discontinued products and services

  • Google Checkout
  • Aardvark
  • Google Answers
  • Audio Ads
  • Google Base
  • Blogger Web Comments
  • Google Browser Sync
  • Google Buzz
  • Catalogs
  • City Tours
  • AdWords/Google Click-to-Call
  • Google Code Search
  • Dashboard Widgets for Mac
  • Deskbar
  • Desktop
  • Google Dictionary
  • Directory
  • Dodgeball
  • Google Fast Flip
  • Free Search
  • Google Desktop
  • Google Health
  • Gears
  • GOOG-411
  • Hello
  • Google Image Labeler
  • Google Labs
  • Jaiku
  • Joga Bonito
  • Google Lively
  • Local
  • Mashup Editor
  • MK-14
  • Google Trends#Google Music Trends
  • Notebook
  • Google Pack
  • Google Page Creator
  • Personalized Search
  • Photos Screensaver
  • Google PowerMeter
  • Public Service Search
  • Real Estate
  • Rebang
  • Related Links
  • Google_Maps#Google_Ride_Finder
  • SearchMash
  • Google SearchWiki
  • Send to Phone
  • Sets
  • Shared Stuff
  • Google Sidewiki
  • Slide.com
  • Spreadsheets
  • Squared
  • University Search
  • U.S. Government Search
  • Video Player
  • Google Video Marketplace
  • Voice Search
  • Web Accelerator
  • Writely
  • Google X
  • Google Feed burner beta

To be discontinued soon

Applications that are no longer in development, and scheduled to be discontinued (inaccessible) in the future:

  • Google Notebook
  • Google Wave
  • Knol
  • Picnik

Raise your hand if you STILL believe your life is Google-Free.

In the past, these items used to have their own privacy policies, and they are now combined into one, except for specific privacy policy changes for Chrome and Chrome OS, Books, and Wallet.Listen, I like Google. I’ve been using Google services for years, and I am pretty happy with them; besides I believe that when my cheese comes free, I should not be complaining about the color of the mousetrap.  If you are not sure how you feel about it – read Google’s new Privacy Policy, as of March 1, 2012.

If you feel you’ve shared too much, change your Google account settings: go directly to your Google Dashboard. It provides an overview of the information Google has stored on your account across many of its most popular services. Log in with your Google account (typically an email address). There, you can see much of the data that Google has on you, from your Google+ account to your Gmail account.

Take some time to browse and click through the various services and to review the information Google is storing. Then clear out any data you no longer want associated with your account.

Consider what kind of information that you would like to control.

Most of the data mining options are set on by default – you will need to opt-out if you want to keep you private info private. Pay attention to the privacy settings and messages Google-owned and other programs and browsers show you (like this one, below) to see when you have a choice in the matter – at least to some degree.

 

Your area of concern might be your search history or the videos you’ve watched on YouTube. Maybe it’s your location, people you know and communicate with, political orientation, interests, age, religion, real name, or health issues or anything in your history that may reveal this information to Google.

Perhaps just a change wouldn’t do. If you don’t want to use Google at all – remove your account from Google completely.

Here is a further reading I recommend (and also sources used as inspiration for this article)

Sources Used:

Are Your Users Ready For Google’s New Privacy Policy
Google Privacy Checklist: What to Do before Google Privacy Policy Changes on March 1
Google Privacy Policy Changes Survival Guide
Wikipedia.org – Google, Inc

 

 

Comments are closed.