Google Making It Simple?

by · February 15, 2012

For most of us terms and conditions, privacy, security and insurance documents are long, tedious and uninteresting. At the moment Google has over 60 different privacy policies but from March Google’s privacy policies are changing.

What will this mean to you as a user? The good news is that Google is replacing them with one policy that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Their new policy covers multiple products and features and will also make it easier to find out what data Google collects about you and how they use it.

The intention is to tailor-make Google for each user based on the interests you expressed when you signed in. Google will combine the information you have provided from one service with information from other services. The information from Google+, Gmail, YouTube, plus their 60 other products will “talk” to each other, allowing Google to suggest more refined search queries for you, display ads for products you may be interested in as well as other content, treating you as a single user across many products.

Not only that, but Google wants the user experience across all the Google products to be an easy, single product experience. With minimal clicks and errors a user should be able to schedule a Calendar meeting, view photos, use YouTube, post in Google+, and use Gmail or search quickly and efficiently. This should make the user experience for posting and sharing documents, photos and videos online with friends or business associates simple and intuitive.

Google has also re-written the Terms of Service,  explaining in laymen terms the legal aspects associated with the use of their services, including how they treat the content that you submit.

To see what information is stored in your Google Account go to your Google Dashboard. Here you can change your privacy settings for most Google products from one central location.

To read more on Google’s Privacy Principles and learn about what to expect when the changes occur go to their FAQ Section.

To learn more about the tools Google offers users to help manage their privacy, visit Good to Know.

If all these changes make you uncomfortable you can opt to close your Google Account, by following the instructions in their help center. However, if you do choose to continue to use Google you will do so under their new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

However some users are up in arms over these changes because it will modify how Google products gather information. The new privacy policy will allow Google to combine any piece of data it has about you into a single profile, including who you are linked to, what you do (e.g. Google Calendar information of where you are holding meetings being placed into map searches), who you are and data from all your friends (who are part of your Google+ list).  Imagine anything you do (or anyone you are connected to) on any Google service being linked together and tailoring your search results to these specifications. The problem is that the video your friend watched on YouTube may not be of interest to you or the meeting you wanted to keep private becomes public, because it all now shapes your Google+ search results. One of the main complaints is from users who prefer their Google products to be separate, especially options on privacy per service, rather than mixed up and interconnected. Some users say that Big Brother is watching over them a little too closely now.

Here are a couple demo/tutorial videos to quickly explain the changes.

Google Products

Google’s products allow users to do just about anything, this starts with having a personal Dashboard account which allows you access to, and linking of, all your chosen Google products and related services.  These include Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar, Google+, Games, Photos and Document sharing and storage, creating a website or blog, and your own personal Google Search page, just to name a few of their online offerings.

To use Google Products you need to start by creating an account, then personalizing your Dashboard.  The video below shows you how.

Creating your personalized Dashboard will allow you to have one experience across all the Google Products, linking them together to create a result that is tailored made especially for you.  Initially you may feel overwhelmed with what they have to offer, to begin with have a look at their basic Product List Index. Once you have gained the knowledge of these, use this video link to find out more about all their services and how to use them.

What are your views on the changes to the Google Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Products?

Post By Denise Mc Manus (26 Posts)

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