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Google Privacy Changes Jolt Critics

  • USA Today, Wednesday, January 25, 2012 11:37 AM

No matter the platform, Google this week said it will begin tracking consumers as they use every one of its services, from Google search and Google+ to Gmail and YouTube. As USAToday notes, the news follows Facebook’s plan to make Timeline and Open Graph part of its default user interface. “These new services chronologically assemble and make more easily accessible the preferences, acquaintances and activities of its 800 million members,” it writes.

Regarding the efforts of both companies, P.J. McNealy, an analyst at Digital World Research, said: "It's clear that they're doing this to chase more advertising revenue.” Yet, as USAToday notes, both Google and Facebook have already been sanctioned by U.S. regulators for privacy violations, so their latest moves are bound to draw additional scrutiny. "Google's plan to change its privacy policy raises important questions about how much control Google users will have over their personal information," said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

Also of note, Alisdair Faulkner, chief product officer at security firm ThreatMetrix, says the changes will create new opportunities for cybercrooks. Google and Facebook “are essentially indexing more and more private information and, in doing so, serving it up on a platter to cybercriminals," he tells USA Today.

 


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