Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a Google fan. Believe me, I use them for search but even that pains me. Microsoft, Apple, anyone – please come up with a search engine that is half decent! I have replaced about everything else in my life where I used to have a Google product. I would never buy an Android phone, even found a good replacement for Google analytics. The reason for all of this is the way Google collects and uses data. To say I don’t trust them might be a little – tame.
Then yesterday, I heard about their brand spanking new protection policies. They were proclaiming that all of their products would now be covered by a single, easy to read policy. Could this be the end of my dislike of all things Google?
Well, don’t get too excited. They have replaced an easy to read document with an array of web pages using stupid little characters that are presumably meant to diffuse you and to make you think that everything is clear and simple. They even read some of it out to you – using a Brit and we all know that a Brit is incapable of lying – they sound so royal, so incredible, so utterly truthful NOT.
They try and mix the important pieces of information in with practical data about staying safe on the web, making it look more as if Google is on your side. Let’s take an example. They are talking about the data that Google harvests from you, and they try and dazzle people about the various fields of data they track every time you search. When explaining why they do this – they say: “We use search logs for many purposes, for example, to keep our services secure” What? How can keeping information about my searches – keep their services secure. Now that statement has to be there for some reason, and I will never actually know what they mean by that.
Now let’s get onto their view of privacy. In the “Manage your data” section they have a section on cookies. Their helpful page says “You can delete cookies any time you want by using the settings in your web browser. You can also use your browser to disable cookies, although many websites won’t function properly if you do this.” Thanks a lot for nothing.
I also love that Google is SO concerned about our privacy that they have encrypted search. Listen to this “Encrypt the search traffic between your computer and Google, helping to protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party. Try a more secure and private search experience.” Yes – that is how sensitive that data is – and I only want Google seeing it. JOKE.
With so many of the protections they offer – they are opt-out, not opt-in. Don’t want Google tracking where you go and the pages you visit – well you have to install a plug-in to stop that. Want to blur a street view photo of you, your car or your property – you have to know it is there and request that it be modified, they don’t tell you about it. Want to be able to opt-out of ad personalization – well it will cost you because they will only do that in Chrome, so they will do it in exchange for all of the other data you forgot to deny them. My view of Google has not changed.
– keeping you covered
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