Today marks the first day Internet giant Google will start sharing the information it collects from separate platforms—including its namesake search engine, YouTube and Blogger—in a bid to maximize its revenues from targeted advertising. Or, as Google puts it, to better serve you with more accurate search results.
The BBC and Reuters note that Google has gone ahead with this new policy even though the European Union has warned it may contravene European laws. According to the BBC, officials in France have already “cast doubt on the legality of the move and launched a Europe-wide investigation.”
Reuters adds that French regulator CNIL tried to stop Google from implementing the new policy in a letter sent Feb. 27:
“The CNIL and EU data authorities are deeply concerned about the combination of personal data across services: they have strong doubts about the lawfulness and fairness of such processing, and its compliance with European data protection legislation,” the French regulator wrote to Google.
The BBC notes that there are, of course, ways to avoid Google’s new data-gathering system:
They suggest users can access, and delete, their browsing and search history on the site by logging in to google.com/history. A similar page for YouTube viewing and search history can also be accessed. Users can see which Google services hold data about them by viewing their dashboard.
Another way of keeping Big Brother’s watch at bay is to log out from any Google service before accessing another, and to have different login and password information for each service.
Thursday, March 1, 2012