Google and privacy: What’s the problem?

Google’s unification of its privacy policies has brought the firm wide criticism. But what’s actually the issue? Simon Brew has been taking a look…

Of particular concern is the fact that the all-in-one policy is a fait accompli. You can't choose to continue with individual policies across the assorted Google services: if you want to use them, you're subject to the one main policy, and that's your lot. Reject that, and presumably you reject the service, too, at least if you want a user account.

In Google's defence, there are tools built into its account management to disable your web history, although naturally enough, there's no shiny red button that makes it easy to do so.

But there is an option there. It also argues on its blog that "it's the same Google experience that you're used to, with the same controls", saying that "we've undertaken the most extensive user education campaign in our history to explain the coming changes".

It has attempted to explain the changes, not least through an animated YouTube clip. Crucially, it also says that "our privacy controls aren't changing". You also don't need to be signed in to use services.

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