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Google Privacy Policy change goes ahead

Google has decided to go ahead with its privacy policy changes despite the fact that they are in breach of European law according to the EU’s justice commissioner.

The European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Viviane Reding informed various media outlets including the BBC that they had found that “transparency rules have not been applied”.

The changes came into play today, meaning that rather than having separate policies for each of their umbrella platforms, one all-encompassing policy means that they can share private data collected by one of their services such as Gmail, Blogger, Google+ or YouTube with the rest of them.

In a statement released in response to criticism, Google has stated that it believed their new policy complied with the law, “We are confident that our new simple, clear and transparent privacy policy respects all European data protection laws and principles”. Google’s stance is that the new policy will improve the experience of their users by allowing them to tailor search results more accurately, therefore offering far better targeted results. This sounds like a plausible reason for the change in their eyes as they strive to continually improve their services further.

As they tend to do, Google went ahead with their plan despite warnings earlier in the week from the EU that it may not be acceptable. Most people are aware of the main Google brands; however the new policy has merged over 60 sets of guidelines. It means that if a user is signed in to a Google account in their browser (intentionally or not), browsing data and web history can be shared across all of their websites.

In theory, this means that a search on YouTube could affect the adverts that you see when later searching for something else on Google Search. Not being signed in to a Google service should obviously prevent this.

It remains to be seen whether the change will have a dramatic influence on search results and your own personalised user experience but we have a feeling that this is a story that could run and run for a while yet.

If you would like to find out more about Google and the most effective ways to promote your website in their search engine, please do not hesitate to contact us.