Privacy changes to facilitate user interaction
For instance, it will be in a position to offer reminders you are going to get late for an office meeting based on your location and your calendar along with an understanding of the traffic situation that day. By blending your account information, the site can make sure that its spelling suggestions, even that for your colleagues’ names, are correct since you have typed them before. The changes take effect from March 1, 2012.
Google is going to draw information from its services like Gmail, YouTube, Google search, Picasa etc, ostensibly aimed at data integration for the user’s benefit. It will be able to integrate everything in its ecosystem such as location data, search preferences, personal habits, calendar appointments, contacts and so on.
Privacy concerns crop up
Already data-protection agencies in countries like France and Ireland are going to assess the implications. Certain consumer-advocacy groups are fretting about the fact that policy will make it easier for the global search engine giant to target ads to specific groups. This might end up inconveniencing users and make it tougher for them to stop the activities the company can perform with their personal information.
Media experts describe the development as potentially frightening and pretty frustrating from a standpoint point of individual users and overall consumer privacy parameters. An official post from Google tries to allay the fears, by stating:
Google’s clarification to criticism
In a clarification to criticism, Google’s official post mentions:
You can use as much or as little of Google as you want. For example, you can have a Google Account and choose to use Gmail, but not use Google+. Or you could keep your data separate with different accounts — for example, one for YouTube and another for Gmail.”
As already reported, regulators took umbrage after Google publicized changes earlier this month to its search engine, making information from Google Plus, its fledgling social networking service, available in a user’s search results. Major players in the social space such as Twitter felt that the selective integration of social and search on part of Google would favor Google Plus.
It remains to be seen how things shape up in the near future…