Friday, March 2, 2012

Google to dig deeper into people's lives (time to break up the company?)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- If you're amazed - and maybe even a little alarmed - about how much Google seems to know about you, brace yourself. Beginning Thursday, Google will operate under a streamlined privacy policy that enables the Internet's most powerful company to dig even deeper into the lives of its more than 1 billion users.

Google says the changes will make it easier for consumers to understand how it collects personal information, and allow the company to create more helpful and compelling services. Critics, including most of the country's state attorneys general and a top regulator in Europe, argue that Google is trampling on people's privacy rights in its relentless drive to sell more ads.

Here's a look at some of the key issues to consider as Google tries to learn about you.

Q: How will Google's privacy changes affect users?

A: Google Inc. is combining more than 60 different privacy policies so it will be able to throw all the data it gathers about each of its logged-in users into personal dossiers. The information Google learns about you while you enter requests into its search engine can be culled to suggest videos to watch when you visit the company's YouTube site. Read More