Google has announced they are shortening and simplifying their privacy policies – going from 60 policies to 1 starting from the 1st of March 2012. A preview of the new policy has been released.
This is a good thing – a concise policy is easier to read and understand.
Part of the change involves a notice that Google services will start to share information with other Google services; I was very surprised to find out they weren’t already doing so! This means that if you searched for “Toyota Prius” on Google Search, an advertisement for that car might appear the next time you watch a YouTube video.
We may combine personal information from one service with information, including personal information, from other Google services – for example to make it easier to share things with people you know.
Some commentators are reacting with outrage. If privacy is important to you, take the time to read and understand the new policy. Think about what information about yourself you’re willing to share. Then act.
There are alternatives to Google. DuckDuckGo (despite the funny name) is a search engine that emphasizes user privacy. There are others, but instead of me listing them, why not do a Google search yourself to find them?