Honestly, at first glance I thought it would be cool because I don't need to remember a lot of things, passwords and all. But when I read this piece from NPR, written by Eyder Peralta, I started to realize that this new policy is not just about convenience and a better experience for me, it is also about Google banking on my personal information for their personal gain.
People have been saying how Mark Zuckerberg had become one of the world's richest people by selling people's information he got from his Facebook (I'm an avid Facebook and Twitter user, by the way), now, this could be a more elaborate money making venture for Google. But then again, getting free services would entail some form of payment.
Peralta, in his article, quoted Common Sense Media chief executive James Steyer's Post interview:
"Google's new privacy announcement is frustrating and a little frightening. Even if the company believes that tracking users across all platforms improves their services, consumers should still have the option to opt out — especially the kids and teens who are avid users of YouTube, Gmail and Google Search."
He also quoted a USA Today article where Rep. Ed Markey's (D-Mass) expressed his concern on this new policy, further adding:
"Critics worry the tech giants will open fresh opportunities for cybercrooks to prey on users of the sites."
"'Both are racing to monetize our private information and in doing so creating collateral damage,' says Alisdair Faulkner, chief product officer at security firm ThreatMetrix. 'They are essentially indexing more and more private information and, in doing so, serving it up on a platter to cybercriminals.'"
On the other hand, the American Civil Liberties Union, also expressed their concern on this new policy in their site Blog of Rights.
"...have you ever Googled something you didn’t want to tell your parents/spouse/friends/doctor about? Have you ever had a personal conversation over e-mail that you didn’t want broadcast to the world? With this new integration, your e-mail content won’t influence only what ads you see in Gmail, and your search terms won’t influence just what ads you see when you’re searching. As of March 1, your e-mail content and search terms could influence ads you see on any Google site. So, imagine watching a YouTube video with friends or family and suddenly having an ad based on what you assumed was a private e-mail conversation or a personal Google search appear. Yikes! And short of signing out of your Google account, there is no opting out."
For them, the integration policy of Google is their right, however, users must be given the option to opt out of this new integration policy and that it not be made mandatory.
The products, by the way includes Google Chrome, Google's web browser. This means that it is not just your search history that's being monitored, but your browsing habit is also recorded by Google. Now ain't that creepy? Is this fair price for free access to the world?
If you think that Google should allow its users to opt out of integration, then better have your voice counted by checking out DotRights.org, or send Google a feedback.
Yeah, that's creepy. I'm glad you posted this. I googled "master planned communities" for a project and suddenly every time I get on the computer I'm inundated with ads for Lennar Homes. Essentially harmless, but still very creepy.
By he way I keep you informed you have about your entry this advertising " : Téléchargez Google Chromr Le navigateur gratuit qui vous permet d'en faire plus sur le web !www.google.com/chrome" This is written in French so they know I am French !!!! Incredible !
I never write anything on the web that I would seek to hide... or at least I try to be very careful there. The part that really bugs me is the recording of browsing history and habits. I use a Firefox extension called Ghostery that blocks some of those "hidden" kind of utilities, but I'm sure that doesn't really make me as safe or private as I'd like to be.