In an effort to simplify and improve its service for customers, Google has combined the privacy policies from its 70+ sites into a single one that is easier to understand. Additionally, this policy change lets Google combine all the data a user has from any of its services into a single customer profile. Off the bat, this move seems very big brotherish, but really this marks an effort for Google to better serve each user in more a more personalized way.
The new changes will go into effect on Thursday, March 1st. When this happens, a user’s information from each Google site will be combined to give Google a more detailed picture of who that user is. Google will be better able to understand what is being searching for based on the information provided from all of a user’s accounts. Over time, the effectiveness of Google searches will greatly increase. For example, the company gives the example that when searching for “jaguar”, the site will know that a user is looking for the animal, not the car.
But, the changes in web experience won’t stop there. You can be sure that this more complete user profile will be used to better target advertisements to increase their effectiveness. What’s more, a promotional video says that with the update, Google may be able to warn users they will be late for a meeting they’ve scheduled in their calendar based on their location and current traffic conditions.
Others see the changes as making users easier to track. While, yes all of a user’s information will be in one profile instead of spread across many, Google isn’t tracking anything it wasn’t tracking before. Everything is just combined to make life easier for both Google and the user. Google also says that it “remains committed to data liberation,” meaning all your information is safe and sound, and nothing sketchy is happening.
As an observational side note, I see this move as a way for Google to catch up to Facebook’s aggregation of user information, including demographics, friends, and app usage. Whereas Facebook’s information always came through one site, Google’s came through many. But, now it will be simplified to one.
Paul spends a lot of time working with Google products and so this subject was of real interest to him and has an impact on day to day business at CliqStudios Kitchen cabinetery, Paul is a markeer within Cliq and is currently working on painted kitchen cabinets.
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