See Also: A Toolkit for CISOs
Google gives users plenty of controls to protect their privacy, and provides workaround if users don't like those controls. For instance, if a user doesn't want information shared between Gmail and YouTube, the individual can set up separate accounts. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it is fair.
- Keep private information private.
- Allow users to employ search, watch videos, get driving directions and conduct some other tasks without signing onto a Google account.
- Offer privacy tools such as Google Dashboard and Ads Preference Manager to understand and manage data.
- Not sell personal information to advertisers.
- Permit users to close accounts and take their data elsewhere, a policy known as data liberation.
The Real Problem
What really irks some people is the fact that the new policy allows Google to share information more seamlessly than in the past among its various products. That, in turn, makes Google more attractive to advertisers, which in turn means more potential revenue as the integrated information makes targeting of users more efficient. More money often means more power. (Google contends that such data sharing benefits its users by tailoring content and advertisements that they would find to be more meaningful.)
Google is an - perhaps the - Internet behemoth that gets more powerful everyday, and its policy of sharing data among its products will likely make it a more potent player. Whether that's good for the rest of us is a legitimate question to ask, and exploring a potential abuse of that power could be worthy of further inquiries by Congress and regulators. But that's a matter to be addressed for another day.