The company was founded on September 4th 1998 in CaliforniaThey are the creators of the search engine Google Search which the majority of us use everydayIn May 2011, 1 billion monthly users we’re recorded using the search engineThey are also owners of a variety of other commonly used products such as YouTube, Android, Google Maps, Google Chrome and much much more.
On March 1st 2012, Google made changes to their privacy settings across all their products.These changes allow for Google to track all user activity across any product owned or operated by GoogleThis information is being pooled together to create user activity data logged from every siteThis activity profile will contain activity preformed by a variety of functions such as search keywords, videos watched on YouTube and emails typed and received through Gmail
The data collected from Google is said to be for a better overall user experience. This is mainly related to the fact that it will allow Google to target search results directly to a users likes and habits. It will however also help with Google’s Adwords and Adsense programs which allow for advertisers to broadcast their ads across Google owned sites. This specific information on a users habits and likes will allow for Google to place very targeted advertisements on pages that a user visits.
When signed into one Google product, you are signed into every Google product. This is because Google uses multi-platform user accounts which allows for users to not need to sign in and out while switching sites.Since you are constantly signed in, any activity preformed a single Google site will be logged to your account. Google’s software can then compare consistencies among keywords from these logs to learn more about a user.
Let’s say we have a user that uses a variety of different Google platforms. First off, they are a Gmail user. They are signed up for a weekly car newsletter that is sent to their inbox. From this, Google’s software would log that the user is interested in cars. This user is also a YouTube user and watched a video of a Jaguar car racing. Google now knows that this user is interested in cars, and more specifically Jaguar cars. This user is also an Android phone owner and downloads and application that showcases car pictures. Google now knows that the user is interested in jaguar cars, and likes pictures of cars.So now, if this user searches for “jaguar pictures” on Google Search, only pictures of the Jaguar car would appear, and no results would be of the animal.Google now has a full profile of interests for this user, in a very small scale simple example.
There are very few user advantages to this new privacy change. It will obviously help us find more targeted search results to fit our internet habits. It will also help us not see advertisements that are not targeted towards us. Other than that, there are really no known advantages at the moment.
The major problem with this new change is that:You cannot Opt Out.Google has made it mandatory for each existing and new account to have this change. This is very bold on Google’s part since many of us current users will find this to violate our privacy.
This information collected through this change is very sensitive while combined with the loads of other personal information already stored on Google’s servers.A hacker onto Google’s servers could easily know all there is to know about an individual including their tastes and habits.This can later lead to an increase in identity theft since hackers will know so much about an individual
If a single user was using Google+, Gmail, Google Checkout and YouTube it is possible that following information would be linked to this users account:Credit Card NumberName Address and Phone NumberPersonal pictures and videos of self, family and friendsLikes, dislikes, habits and frequencies
GOOGLEPRIVACY CHANGES GONETOO FAR A MEDIA REPORT PRESENTATION BY DEVIN LYNCH, MARNIE BEATON AND TRANG VU
THE MEDIA REPORT• This presentation is based off a media report from the Washington Post• The article is titled “Google announces privacy changes across products; users can’t opt out” and was published January 24th 2012• Written by Cecilia Kang• Can be located at http://tinyurl.com/7d9lm75
A BIT OF HISTORY• Google was founded on September 4th 1998 in California, USA• Their search engine “Google Search” is the most used search engine on the internet• Google Search was host to 1 billion monthly users in 2011• They are owners of a variety of different products including: • YouTube • Android OS • Google Maps • Google Chrome • Much Much More
THE CHANGEDESCRIBED• Google is currently making privacy changes across all their products• These changes allow for the collection of user activity and data on any domain owned by Google• This information is then being pooled together to create one “profile” of a single users activity• A user’s “activity profile” will contain all activity preformed by a user including: • Search keywords • YouTube videos watched • Emails written through Gmail
WHAT THIS DATA ISUSED FOR• Google says this data is being pooled together for a better user experience• It helps Google find results targeted to a users likes and habits• Will help Google place targeted advertisements on pages viewers view• Will help advertisers broadcast their ads to very specific demographics
HOW THIS WORKS• When a user signs into an Google services such as Gmail, YouTube, etc., they are then signed into all Google services• If you sign into YouTube, and then go to Gmail.com, you will already be signed in• Google uses multi platform user accounts to allow for users to use any Google services without needing to sign in and out• Since you are constantly signed in, any activity preformed on a single Google site is logged to your account• Google’s software can then compare consistencies among keywords from this logged data
AN EXAMPLE OF HOWTHIS WORKS User watches a YouTube Video of a Jaguar car racing User owns an User uses Gmail Android phone and receives a and downloads weekly car an App that newsletter to their showcases car inbox pictures The user searches “jaguar pictures” on GoogleRESULT: All search results will be related to a Jaguar car, and nonewould be related to a jaguar animal
ADVANTAGES OF THIS• Helps us find more targeted search results• You won’t see advertisements for things you’re not interested in As seen above, there are very few advantages
THE BIG PROBLEMWITH THIS CHANGEThere is a major problem with this change:You can’t Opt Out • Google has made this change a mandatory for each Google account • There is no way for a user to change their privacy settings to disallow this • This is a very bold move on Google’s part since many users will find this change to violate their privacy
HOW THIS VIOLATESOUR PRIVACY• The information collected is very sensitive while combined with our personal information already stored on Google servers• A hacker onto Google’s servers could easily know all information of an individual; as well as their habits and interests• This could lead to an increase in identity theft since hackers could know almost everything about an individual
AN EXAMPLE OFINFORMATION STOREDFOR A SINGLE USERIf a single user were to use Google Plus, Gmail, GoogleCheckout and YouTube, it is possible that the followinginformation would be linked to this users account:
THOUGH IT IS HIGHLYUNLIKELY FOR A HACKER TOBYPASS GOOGLE’S SECURITY,IT IS JUST A VERY SCARYTHOUGHT TO KNOW THAT SOMUCH INFORMATION ISSTORED IN ONE PLACE.