Google to Unify Privacy Policy Across All Services

When you’re bored to death, do you end up watching some nasty videos on YouTube or search for Poonam Pandey’s pictures on Google Image search while you’re logged in to Gmail or Google Plus? If yes, then it’s time you start using Incognito mode in Google Chrome (or private mode in other browsers), because according to Google’s new privacy policy update, the search engine giant is going to store all of this information and may put to some use in the future.

In a recent blog post, Google announced that it is planning to replace 60 policies of its Web services to a unified privacy policy. This would allow the company to share data between any of the services the user is using. In other words, it will begin tracking users universally to gather information from its services, including Gmail, calendar appointments, location data, search preferences, YouTube, contacts, device information and search queries. All of this will all be used to integrate into its services to serve you better. This change will go into effect starting March 1, 2012.

However, service like Google Books, Google Wallet and Google Chrome will be excluded from this policy due to different regulatory and technical issues.

Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.

With the new updates, Google is planning to get rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google services and plans to replace them with one that’s shorter, easier to read and something that will enable it to “create an intuitive experience across Google”.

Google Privacy Update

This move from Google is perhaps more or like a competition to the social networking giant, Facebook, over personal data. Facebook has an unmatched amount of information, which includes every little data that a user shares on the network. Not to forget, Facebook boasts to have over 800 million users on its network. That’s certainly is a huge amount of user information.

Google has never before collected much of personal information from its users, but as Facebook continues to grow ahead leaving behind its competitors, Google has stoked up the competition with this privacy change.

On the other hand, Google plans to unify its privacy policies in order to target appropriate advertisements to you. Google personalizes advertisements by filtering out unwanted ads and displays only those ads that are specific to your search queries. Now, with the new changes, it will enable Google to gather more information and display more relevant ads that match your queries. However, one can easily opt out and turn off personalized ads.

Simply go to your Ads Preferences Manager, click “Opt Out” under “Ads in Search and Gmail”, and then again under “Ads on the Web”. This will disable personalized ads being displayed on your search results as well as in Gmail.

As promised, Google has not changed its policies on sharing user information with third parties –

We don’t sell your personal information, nor do we share it externally without your permission except in very limited circumstances like a valid court order.

To understand better, here’s a video that Google posted on YouTube –

Does Google’s new privacy policy worry you? Let us know by adding your comments below.

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Joel Fernandes

Joel Fernandes (G+) is a tech enthusiast and a social media blogger. During his leisure time, he enjoys taking photographs, and photography is one of his most loved hobbies. You can find some of his photos on Flickr. He does a little of web coding, and maintains a tech blog of his own - Techo Latte. Joel is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Application from Bangalore, India. You can get in touch with him on Twitter - @joelfernandes, or visit his Facebook Profile for more information.