Social Media Roundup: Google Privacy Policy


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Social Media Roundup: Google Privacy Policy

  1. 1. Social Media Roundup Google Privacy Policy
  2. 2. Social Media Roundup AgendaOn March 1, 2012, Google released a blog post outlining its newprivacy policy. A great deal of public speculation followed theannouncement. According to a Pew study, 83% of American Internetusers say they use Google as their primary search engine. So in aneffort to better inform Army Google users, this Social Media Roundupwill take a closer look at Google’s privacy policy. Introduction Google privacy policy Privacy policy basics (In Google’s words) What this means to users Backlash Takeaways
  3. 3. Social Media RoundupIntroduction Google recently came under fire when it announced changes to its privacy policy in a March 1 blog post: In the weeks following the announcement, many news organizations including Bloomberg, the LA Times, PCWorld and dozens more analyzed the updated policy and its effects on Google users. Google representatives claim that the public’s outcry over the changes is unwarranted, but pressure is mounting against Google as Google customers have already filed a class-action lawsuit against the search leader ( The Federal Trade Commission and the European Union are also looking into the changes (
  4. 4. Social Media Roundup Google privacy policy On March 1, Google consolidated privacy policy documents for over 60 of its various Web products into one policy ( The new policy does not allow Google to collect more information about its users, but it does allow Google to do more with the information it has already been collecting. This data includes information like Internet searches and Google+ postings. The new policy allows Google to merge data it has compiled about its users as they use Google products. It allows Google to create a more comprehensive picture of its users by drawing on data from a greater number of Google services. YouTube, Gmail, Blogger, Google TV, Google+ and web history, which records all searches performed on Google, will now be able to communicate and better determine a user’s preferences and practices. According to Google, “When you share information with us, for example by creating a Google account, we can make those services even better – to show you more relevant search results and ads, to help you connect with people or to make sharing with others quicker and easier.”
  5. 5. Social Media RoundupPrivacy policy basics (In Google’s words) According to Google, “The new policy doesn’t change any existing privacy settings or how any personal information is shared outside of Google. We aren’t collecting any new or additional information about users. We won’t be selling your personal data. And we will continue to employ industry-leading security to keep your information safe.” To keep your information more private, Google also suggests that users can use services like Search, Maps and YouTube while not signed in. Users can also separate information into different accounts, since Google doesn’t combine personal information across them. Google is committed to data liberation (, so if users want to take their information elsewhere, they can. The Data Liberation Front is an engineering team at Google whose singular goal is to make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products.
  6. 6. Social Media RoundupWhat this means to users One of the most important items of note in the Google privacy policy is that according to the new agreement, users cannot opt out of the policy unless they stop using Googles services. (PCWorld recently published a column about how to “divorce” Google: The Washington Post ( also provided a few tips on how to better manage your Google Privacy, “If you don’t want to delete any data but just want to start new, more privacy-friendly search habits, there are a few tips. For one, you could opt for a different search engine from time to time, which will thin out Google’s data profile. You could also try using private browsing modes, which are available in each of the major browsers. Web sites you visit while using Chrome’s “Incognito Mode,” for example, won’t show up in your browsing or download histories.” While there is a lot of discussion about how much information Google is collecting, some users simply won’t mind. According to The Guardian, “For most users, however, there is clearly an acceptance of the trade-off of receiving high-quality, innovative, web services for free in exchange for giving the company the right to make money from the information it gathers in the process.”
  7. 7. Social Media RoundupBacklash While Google representatives claim that the policy update will make privacy on its services easier to understand, not everyone is convinced. Two separate lawsuits have been filed by people who maintained Google accounts and mobile phones powered by Google’s Android operating system from August 19, 2004, until after March 1. The lawsuits claim that the Google Policy update violates the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Computer Fraud Abuse Act, among other counts. Google is also receiving criticism from the European Union. Frances data protection authority, known as the Nationale de lInformatique et des Libertes (CNIL), has reached out to Google executives about the change (
  8. 8. Social Media RoundupTakeaways Many Google users have grown to trust Google and depend on the services it provides. Google provides Google Dashboard (, a service designed to show users what data they have collected regarding a user’s personal account. If you don’t think information sharing will improve your experience, you can use Google’s privacy tools to do things like edit or turn off your search history and YouTube history, control the way You can learn more about the information Google tailors ads to your interests and browse Google collects from your personal Google the web “incognito” using Chrome. account by watching the following YouTube video: Whether or not users decide to leave Google is up to that individual person. Google has always maintained that if users are uncomfortable with the information Google collects on its services, that change is just a click away.
  9. 9. Social Media Roundup Contact informationHave questions? Please feel free toreach out to us at the Online andSocial Media review and download past editions of theSocial Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare siteat: Social Media Roundups are authorized to bedistributed to a broader audience.4/4/2012OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRSPENTAGON