Uberdownloads Blog
How Google’s Privacy Policy Affects You

If you’ve been anywhere on the Internet lately, you’ve probably heard about the ominous Google privacy policy changes.

On March 1, Google implemented a new “unified” privacy policy which allows Google to combine and manipulate data from its 60 free services.

Sound scary? Well, it’s actually not as bad as it seems. Google has been collecting user data from its services separately, but not using it to market products and services to users across Google’s multiple platforms.

Google made no secret of its intentions—pop-up alerts warning of the transition have been around for weeks. Yet, some in the media tried to scare users, with the most extreme saying that Google was turning into a Big Brother of sorts.

In truth, Google is only continuing what it’s been doing, with the goal of enhancing the user experience. Google aims to build comprehensive profiles of each user, in hopes of making our Web searching experience more personal—and ultimately easier.

But what does Google’s privacy policy change mean for you? For users of Google services, you’ll see a change in the suggested items and ads that are being served to you.

For example, if you write an email in Gmail to your mother about the wonderful new kitten you just rescued from the shelter, expect to see suggestions of funny cat videos in YouTube, or suggestions for Petco or groomers in your area when you use Google Maps.

Feeling better now? Here’s some key points to remember about Google’s new privacy policy:

  • Google isn’t collecting more information, just using it differently. The big misconception is Google will suddenly gain access to information they didn’t have before. The reality is that they are just combining all the information they already have to create a “super profile” of each user.
  • Clearing your web history can help. But it won’t stop Google from tracking your Web activity. Any search you perform in Google, even if you don’t sign into your account, is still tracked for “internal use”.
  • There are some workarounds. While it may be impossible to stop using Google services completely, there are things you can do to minimize the amount of data collected. You could attempt to “confuse” Google with multiple accounts, or add “do not track” to all your browsers.
  • Google Books, Chrome, and Wallet will not be affected. These services, despite being Google services, will maintain independent privacy policies.