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Google Rolls Out Privacy Changes Despite Protests

  |  March 1, 2012   |  Comments

Firm attempts to reassure users that privacy controls remain unchanged.

Google has gone ahead with the controversial changes to its privacy policies despite protests from consumers groups, regulators and politicians concerned the changes do not conform to data protection rules.

The firm first announced the changes in January and said it would help bring all data gathered on users from its different platforms, such as YouTube, Gmail and Blogger, into a single system, which it said will allow it to improve its services.

"Our privacy policies have always allowed us to combine information from different products with your account - effectively using your data to provide you with a better service," Google's director of privacy, product and engineering, Alma Whitten, said in a blog post confirming the changes have been implemented.

"However, we've been restricted in our ability to combine your YouTube and Search histories with other information in your account. Our new Privacy Policy gets rid of those inconsistencies so we can make more of your information available to you when using Google."

Whitten acknowledged, though, that there has been "chatter and confusion" around the changes, and as such sought to reassure users that despite the changes, the firm's privacy controls have not changed.

"The new policy doesn't change any existing privacy settings or how any personal information is shared outside of Google. We aren't collecting any new or additional information about users," she added.

"We won't be selling your personal data. And we will continue to employ industry-leading security to keep your information safe."

Despite this, Google's decision to push through with the changes comes just two days after French data protection regulators, leading the pan-European Article 29 Working Party's investigation on the proposals, declared them illegal and asked the company to postpones the changes.

This article was originally published on V3.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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