You should opt out Google's updated privacy policy
You should opt out Google's updated privacy policy. Image credit: Softpedia News.

Google started asking users to opt-in on a privacy policy change that made them share more data unknowingly in June of this year. This move allowed them to combine Google account owner’s browser activity with their personal information to personalize ads better.

Google asked users if they would like to “receive new features for their Google account,” a question that all account owners received through the summer. According to some news outlets, all new Google accounts automatically opt-in to this option when created.

The data-sharing upgrade reportedly leads, as stated above, to better-tailored ads for each user, and the ability for them to view their account activity across various devices. Many sources have started to report what type of information Google takes from users’ accounts. The company has clarified the staff never registers Gmail keywords.

Google’s official stance on the new Privacy Policy

A statement provided to the online news website ProPublica claims the company is moving in this direction because of the advent of smartphones. The directive board enacted this new Privacy Policy to interact better with they way people use Google today.

“BEFORE WE LAUNCHED THIS UPDATE, WE TESTED IT AROUND THE WORLD WITH THE GOAL OF UNDERSTANDING HOW TO PROVIDE USERS WITH CLEAR CHOICE AND TRANSPARENCY,” wrote Andrea Faville, Manager of Global Communications and Public Affairs at Google.

The email reiterates the change is still a hundred percent optional for all users and that they notified people regularly in “easy-to-understand language.” Users can access the ‘My Account’ option to manage and erase their data if they wish to do so.

Why is this change relevant?

Google’s privacy policy change means the company has failed to keep its promise to maintain both browser activity and personal data separated, which translated to better user privacy.

The updated Policy, found online, states user activity on websites and apps “may be associated” with personal information. In short, Google can know who a user is virtually everywhere, on every device, with the excuse of sending them advertising.

The DoubleClick ads that usually follow users around the Internet will now cater directly to them by name and other personal information.

Google purchased the DoubleClick advertising network in 2007. It signifies a huge turn from the common notion that Internet web-tracking should be virtually anonymous.

How to opt-out of Google’s ad tracking.

  • Access myaccount.google.com/activitycontrols
  • Uncheck the box that says “Include Chrome browser history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services,” this will prompt a window asking you to confirm. Click ‘Pause’ to stop the process.
  • Turn off all activity by clicking on the blue switch located on the right, next to ‘Web & App activity.’
  • Manage and delete previous activity by accessing My Activity on your account.

Source: ProPublica

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