Alma Whitten, Google’s Director of Privacy, said the following of the new policy on the Google blog:
“We use the information we collect from all of our services to provide, maintain, protect and improve them, to develop new ones, and to protect Google and our users. We also use this information to offer you tailored content – like giving you more relevant search results and ads.”
The new change will allow Google to collect data across all of their products and custom-tailor your web experience. For example, if you spent the last hour searching for information about the New England Patriots, the next time you visit YouTube, there’s a good chance you will get recommendations for videos featuring Tom Brady. In addition, Google will be able to use the extra data to customize suggested search queries, display more relevant ads (i.e. Super Bowl tickets), and alter the search results to match your intent.
While consolidating the 70 privacy policies Google currently uses into one document is logical, there are serious privacy concerns related to this change. Even though a personalized search experience and customized ads may appeal to some users, many individuals have already expressed concern with how Google will be able to collect data from multiple sources and use that data. For example, Google will now be able to collect information from Android mobile phone users and associate that data with their Google accounts. Also, Google will be able to take the information provided on a Google Profile and use that information across other sites – even if the person had previously chosen not to share their name or photo.