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What Google’s New Privacy Policy Really Means

There’s been a lot of talk about Google’s new privacy policy ever since the cloud service provider first announced the changes in January.  And with talk comes rumors, which usually aren’t true, and thus confusion.  So here’s what Google’s new privacy, which will go into place on March 1, really means.In a nutshell, Google is seeking to improve user experience across all of its services by making it more personalized and easier to work across multiple Google platforms at once.  To do this, Google has implemented a new privacy policy which puts the majority of its many services, such as Gmail, Google+, and YouTube, all together under one umbrella policy.Since your Gmail account will now be closer linked to your YouTube account which will be more connected to your Google+ account (you get the idea), Google will be able to put together a more complete picture of each individual user.  This means Google will have a better idea of where your interests lie, what you tend to look for on the web, and how you generally spend your time online.Why does all of this matter to Google?  By putting all of this information together, Google will be able to offer you an online experience that is more tailored to who you are and the things for which you are looking.  Basically, it means that Google is working to meet your needs faster and better.This all sounds well and good in the abstract, but it’s important to know exactly how these changes will affect your everyday online usage.  To start, as Google learns what topics you are interested in, what you usually search for, and what search results you tend to favor, it will be able to provide you with even better search results than it has in the past.  For example, if you were to simply type “friends” into the search box, Google will know whether you are looking for “Friends” the television show or results about friendship.  Additionally, Google may ultimately correct things like spelling errors in your search queries as it learns not only what you look for but also your online habits.

Another positive result of Google learning more about your online presence is the tailoring of advertisements to suit your preferences.  Google will take the information it has gathered about you and work to provide you with advertisements it thinks will actually interest and benefit you, rather than ones that are completely irrelevant.

Overall, the more Google services you use, and the more regularly you use them, the better picture Google will be able to form.  This means that people like Google Apps users, who tend to use Google’s services most often, will see the most improvement to their services.  The fact that the more platforms you use, the more benefits you’ll see is evident in another feature of Google’s privacy policy.  As the cloud service provider has announced, if you have a meeting scheduled in your Google Calendar and are using Google Maps while on route to the meeting, Google can put together your current location and the time it will take to get to your destination based on traffic conditions and, because Google also knows what time your meeting is, tell you if you are going to be late.

So how can you manage all of the data you put into Google services and view yourself the same way Google does?  The Google Dashboard will allow you to view your data and activity across all of the Google platforms you use, thus ensuring that you can maintain control of your account.  Similar tools, such as the Ads Preference Manager, will allow you to have even more control over the types of results Google provides for you.

Another major contributor to the confusion surrounding Google’s new privacy policy is that users will never be able to do anything online without Google knowing about it once the changes take place.  But this is pure myth.  Do you want to have an extremely private conversation over chat in Gmail?  Choose the off the record option and Google won’t keep track of the information.  Interested in browsing the web more privately?  Use the incognito window through the Google Chrome web browser and what you do won’t be logged with the rest of your information.

Although the changes that will occur under Google’s new privacy policy may seem confusing at first, when you take the time to learn what they are and what exactly they mean to you as a user, it is simple to see the new policy will actually improve your day-to-day online experience.

Written By

Cloud Sherpas is a leading cloud service provider and was named the “Google Enterprise 2011 Partner of the Year.” As one of the first Google Enterprise partners, Cloud Sherpas has migrated over one million users across a variety of industries from legacy, on-premise messaging systems to Google Apps, helping organizations adopt cloud computing to innovate and dramatically reduce their IT expenses. A Google Apps Reseller in Atlanta, GA, Cloud Sherpas has regional offices in locations including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Austin and Sydney, and has more Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialists than any other partner in the world.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Danny

    February 15, 2012 at 3:00 am

    Finally somebody who sees the new privacy policy as a positive thing and is not being paranoïd that Google is invading their privacy jadajada. Google is definitely going to use it to give you more personalized advertisements but they will still not force you to buy anything. But they will show you stuff you will probably like, which makes the chances higher that you will buy something and that will make both you and google happy.

  2. Steve Magday

    February 15, 2012 at 6:39 am

    This is only means that Google made the privacy more manageable and simple for the users benefits as well as to differ business from personal use.Since G+ along with other Social networks are top spots to effectively market online.

    • Pavan Kumar

      November 16, 2012 at 11:36 am

      Yes thats sure, Google made the privacy more manageable for the all G+ users as all the social networks are top media for the advertisements of the ecommerce sites and also for the popularity sites.

  3. Tracyann0312

    February 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Well I’m not shocked about the new privacy policy of Google because they changes rules and regulations every year. I’m just wondering how Google can affect Internet marketers? I heard a lot of humors that Internet marketers are having problems in the new regulations of Google.

    • Bill Hollins

      February 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      I don’t think that a change in the privacy policy is going to affect Internet marketers, unless it changed something like information that marketers can receive from Google, such as the Webmaster Tools and Analytics.

  4. Jason M

    February 15, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I wrote about this awhile back.. I came up with a similiar conclusion. It’s not like they suddenly decided this – it has been a long time in coming.

    Plus it makes great business sense when you think about it. That along with the G+ integration with Google (to stomp out Bing and Facebook) makes complete sense as well.

    To see what is actually going on “behind the scenes” you can always go to google then /dashboard to see what Google is capturing.

  5. Brenda

    February 16, 2012 at 1:58 am

    I have read the news about it. I think we should look at it in a positive way.

  6. Anna

    February 16, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Integration of accounts, better online experience, getting what we like, all this is fine! But why does Google have to look into what kind of emails that i send and to whom i send, based on which the ads are tailored. This to me is like showing how much money i have in my wallet and who’s picture do i hide in my wallet to stranger. I don’t think Google can peep in to my bathroom for the sake of selling the soap that I like! 🙁

    • Bill Hollins

      February 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      That’s what keeps gmail free, I’m afraid. I think the paid Google App services don’t have ads. And of course there are other paid email providers that don’t.

  7. Troy Jaggard

    February 16, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Although people are surely going to get upset over any type of Privacy change online…some people seem to go up in arms about any changes period. I think Google (and Facebook for that matter) have been the same for too long. I know they have been providing updates consistently over the last several years. But do you remember when Facebook started taking over MySpace? That wasn’t just a small update, it changed everything.

    I see what Google is doing as trying to be innovative. “How can we improve our users ability to find information”. That has been Google’s primary objective for years, and I seeing them continuing trying to advance and improve their services I think is a positive. I look forward to the next “game changer”.

  8. Troy Jaggard

    February 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Additionally I find it interesting how we personify “scripts” such as Google and Facebook. Sure, Google may be able to “look” or “listen”, but it is not capable of gossip. Perhaps I should worry more. I read that the government may be allowed to access information WITHOUT A WARRANT. I get concerned about the lack of regulations on the human interaction with the information they obtain.

  9. Edward

    February 17, 2012 at 8:35 am

    This is one of the main reasons why I try to minimize the amount of data I fork over to that black hole named Google. I use Google every day for search, for the obvious reasons. But I have never had a gmail account, nor will I ever join G+. Over the past few years, Google has been aggressively and unabashedly pushing the envelope on mining data for the purpose of the almighty marketing dollar. They would not even participate in the Great Blackout last week, how sad is that?

  10. Ann

    February 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Sharon,
    It is so nice to read a positive spin on Google’s new policies. It certainly does seem that they are attempting to improve their services and provide you with a more quality experience while on the internet. For a new user, this should definitely enhance their surfing. And, with the opt out measures in place, it should waylay those that are worried about their privacy. Your article provided some great explanations.

  11. stella

    February 27, 2012 at 8:06 am

    google working very secure and it is very good that google proceeding their security terms and condition with efficient manners,,,,and i like to know about their new policies against security issues,.,,

  12. Chris

    March 1, 2012 at 3:24 am

    This “privacy policy” wrapped in “we’re helping make things better for you.” is nothing but a ploy to further trace and track everything you do online. What you choose to search for, read, watch, and say online will be stored by google and used to create a psychological profile of EACH user. Those “profiles” will be accessible by any government agency to determine if you may be a “threat”. Now I understand, the majority of people online search for insignificant things like “Kim Kardashian” … but what about the people with a brain in their head. The knowledge seekers. The ones who want to know about things like the situation in Syria, or Libya? The Sanctions on Iran, or the big bank bailouts. What about the people searching for Ron Paul, or people worried about Al Quaeda or other terrorist groups? If your naive enough to believe this sweeping change has simply been done to offer you a “better online experience” well… congratulations you’re one of the insignificant sheep that makes no difference to society,the culmination of your “knowledge seeking” being searching for your favorite MTV music video. For the people who may actually have any type of impact on the world, (the critical thinkers) having google keep a psychological profile on you, may not be what you’re looking for. I for one, will not be using Google ever again.

  13. mom

    March 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Privacy policy, it is clear that Google is trying to provide more information to the user based on requested details.Google updates its features regularly to make it more user friendly.Thanks for sharing.

  14. mom g

    March 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

    In my opinion, Google updates every time the info on websites,the features and algorithms we have regularly.If look closely, you can get much more.Google always copy good examples and set aside at the request of people to become more closer to users. This is the logic behind this Privacy Policy.Thanks to share a nice article.

  15. John

    March 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    People seem to have this misplaced sense of anonymity on the internet. The Internet is a public place, you should have a no greater expectation of privacy then you would walking down the street. The fact is that the way all these companies can make money is by monetizing the aggregate data you as a user provide them. If you don’t want advertising and tracking when you are on the internet opt for pay per use services and provide them your contact information and credit card, which brings you back to the initial complaint.

  16. Anita

    March 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Has anyone noticed the acronym that you get from Google Search Plus Your World?
    Google S.P.Y. World LOL

  17. John

    March 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Hey I completely agree with you. I am not surprised about the new privacy policy of Google because they mostly change rules and regulations. At last, we got somebody who vouches in favor of Google’s privacy policy without having common phobia of its possible invasion to privacy. Keep sharing such more.

  18. Liz

    March 31, 2012 at 11:04 am

    That was an awesome post. Thanks that you shared.

  19. Christian L.

    April 27, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I haven’t fully understood Google’s new privacy policy until I’ve read this post. What’s the best advantage of this policy aside from giving tailored ads for you? Thanks for giving a light to some of my questions.

    -Christian

  20. Rita Dawson

    April 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Well, I could say, its great that Google is now simpler for the users and of course, they change it every year and its better we look at it with a positive approach.

  21. Felicia Corrine

    May 4, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Google is implementing new privacy policies to ensure more security and space for the users. I hope it will make using Google easier.

  22. dagnyjbarber

    May 8, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Yes, I agree that the Google is launching new privacy policies to make it more secure and beneficial. And it will not effect the internet marketers in perms of efficiency.

  23. Peter

    June 6, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Google monitors your search in order to put up ads that you may be interested in so that you click on them, which provides ad revenue to google. In turn for that, you get probably the best email (gmail) for free, a great free search engine, free google docs (awesome), free google sites (awesome!), google maps, etc, etc, etc. All of this for 100% FREE! There are going to be ads showing up on pages anyway, at least the ones up there are somewhat relevant. It sounds to me that the complaints are more on “principle” which is all fine and good, but it may be time to wake up to the new reality of the internet age.

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