Google updates privacy policies – worried much?

Google announced a few days ago that they are updating their privacy policies.

They are now also sending out emails to everyone with a Google account, how much more upfront can they be and still people think they are hiding something.

The changes come into effect as from the 1st of March but already people are voicing their concerns on Facebook and Twitter.

One person said they will feel like they are being watched all the time, they said this publically on a twitter account with many followers 🙂

Google amalgamated all policies into just one privacy policy, to make it easier for everyone.

They say that they are creating one experience  – You log into Google Account and all of your accounts become one –  your Gmail – Search – You Tube and Calender.  In short, all of the information from these Google products will be shared with each other, to enable Google to understand us better and to help our searches be more accurate and target us with better ads.

I love Google – Google+, Youtube, Gmail, and everything that goes with it.

Its seems that some of us are worried that this just means that Google are keeping and storing more information about us, creating a big brother! This does not make sense to me, they already have all of this information anyway.

Google already knows all about you

You can still edit your own personal information to share whatever you wish on Google’s Dashboard – btw have you looked there recently?  You will see all of the information that Google already has about you.

If you are paranoid that Google are the bad guys, there are still ways that you can stop Google combining information from your Google account.  Such as you do not need to log in to you tube when watching videos – or you can use an incognito page when using chrome. You can even hide by deleting cookies and history.

Google say another reason for this update is because they want to make it easier to read and understand – Read Google’s terms of service and google’s privacy policy for yourself, I’m sure it will put your mind at rest.

No change could be for the worse! 

Google do stress that they do not sell our personal information or even share it without our permission, unless you are a criminal or such like.

They say that these changes will bring us better ads – which means more money for them in the long run – you can change or remove your ad preferences – and by deleting your cookies this also resets any information that they have regarding ads.

Will the information even be accurate?

I laughed actually when I went to look at the ads preferences –  they say that they infer our age and gender based on the websites that you’ve visited – mine say Age 18-24 Male – haha!  You can also remove or edit this information at any time, I’m leaving mine.

I don’t think that I have anything to hide (not much anyway) so I think it will be exciting to see if the changes have any effect on our searches.

However, if you are scared that Google is going to do nasty things with all of this information, you can hide it from them if you want, with these many settings or hide outs.

As we have to do with Facebook, adjust your settings accordingly.

Are you concerned, why?  Have I missed the point?  Let us know..

Hope this helps





Facebook now have to sort out privacy say FTC

The Federal Trade Commission said Facebook’s claims about its privacy policies were unfair and deceptive and violated federal law.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.

The FTC have ruled that Facebook will now be required to obtain approval from users before making any changes to privacy settings or how data is shared and also stop anyone accessing a deleted account within 30 days of its deletion.

This is good news. Isn’t it what we said all along, opt in, not opt out!   I am not against Mark Zuckerberg or Facebook but they really need to listen to the users.  From what I’ve seen they aren’t good listeners.

In Mark Zuckerberg’s blog post today he actually said…

Overall, I think we have a good history of providing transparency and control over who can see your information.

REALLY?  He still doesn’t see that people were confused about keeping certain data or information private, or what was being shared. Then it was changed and private information suddenly wasn’t private any more, and then changed again, people had no idea what was going on. 

He then admits “We’ve made a bunch of mistakes.” 

Erm.. yeah.

This case has been going on for 2 years now, and Facebook have apparently made many changes to Facebook to try fix things, or they said they did. But now Facebook have actually agreed that they will implement these changes, I wonder will it actually happen, and what will haven’t if they don’t.

The FTC complaint lists a number of instances in which Facebook allegedly made promises that it did not keep:

  • In December 2009, Facebook changed its website so certain information that users may have designated as private – such as their Friends List – was made public. They didn’t warn users that this change was coming, or get their approval in advance.
  • Facebook represented that third-party apps that users’ installed would have access only to user information that they needed to operate. In fact, the apps could access nearly all of users’ personal data – data the apps didn’t need.
  • Facebook told users they could restrict sharing of data to limited audiences – for example with “Friends Only.” In fact, selecting “Friends Only” did not prevent their information from being shared with third-party applications their friends used.
  • Facebook had a “Verified Apps” program & claimed it certified the security of participating apps. It didn’t.
  • Facebook promised users that it would not share their personal information with advertisers. It did.
  • Facebook claimed that when users deactivated or deleted their accounts, their photos and videos would be inaccessible. But Facebook allowed access to the content, even after users had deactivated or deleted their accounts.
  • Facebook claimed that it complied with the U.S.- EU Safe Harbor Framework that governs data transfer between the U.S. and the European Union. It didn’t.

Facebook got off pretty lightly by the sounds of it, they didn’t actually admit to any wrong doing and they didn’t even get a fine. It sounds more like they have been asked to make these changes and Facebook said Ok then.

However under the FTC agreement Facebook are to obtain periodic assessments of its privacy practices by Independent third party auditors for the next 20 years!


What do you feel about all of this, are you concerned about Facebook privacy – do you want more changes?  What changes do you want?  Or are you happy with Facebook as it is now?

Watch this space…

Hope this helps

Did Google+ help with the Facebook improvements

Yesterday The Facebook Blog  announced on a very mixed up post that they are making a “bunch of improvements” so that it is easier to share our posts and photos.   These improvements are starting to roll out over the next few days – you’ll know when you have them as you will see a prompt for a tour, which might not be a bad idea to do.  Hopefully I can make it clearer for you what the changes are.

Photos and Posts

Facebook are making the sharing options next to the posts and photos on a drop down menu instead of being on a settings page. These options were there already just not in the right place.  There are also more changes to help with privacy and sharing.  Which does make it look a little bit more like Google+ but I’ll leave that for you to decide.


This will help with people understanding who they share with, right here on your profile it actually says who are you are sharing this information with – I like this!

Photo Tags

If someone tagged you in a photo before and you didn’t want it you had to then go in to the photo and remove it, maybe days later which could be embarressing – Now however you will be notified and you can approve or reject the tag.   Anyone can now tag you in a photo, they do not even have to be your friend, but you have to approve it for it to show on your profile, but its not clear if it shows on their profile if you approve or not?

I like this

They have also moved the View Profile As button to the top of your profile page, instead of having it hidden away.


Facebook has now put icons and changed the word “Everyone” to “Public”  (Google+) on who you share with …   You can also now edit status updates or change who see’s the posts if you sent it out incorrectly. This could be both helpful and annoying.


The new feature here is that you can now check in to anywhere you don’t actually have to be there, you can say that you “would like to be” somewhere or that “you are going” somewhere, and now it is not restricted to mobile only.

So, basically most of these changes aren’t really new features but slightly changed or moved to a more accessible place, which is great, as still people do not understand Facebook privacy, perhaps these improvements will help.

Hope this helps