“Despite Google’s recent response, it still appears that consumers will not be able to completely opt-out of data collection and information sharing among Google’s services. Congress and consumers need more details, and I look forward to meeting with Google to get clarification about what the options are for consumers who wish to say no to these new changes,” said Rep. Ed Markey, co-chair of the privacy caucus, in a statement sent to ClickZ News.
Google’s January 30 response also reiterated benefits of the alterations for users, and suggested that “misconceptions” about the changes needed correction.
Last week Google said that starting March 1, 60 of the more than 70 privacy policies associated with its various platforms and services will be boiled down to one, simpler policy. Through the consolidation, cross-platform data tracking that already exists for Google is made more transparent to users.
“In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience,” wrote Alma Whitten, director of privacy, product and engineering at Google in a post introducing the policy changes.
The announcement triggered a letter from eight House Members, including Joe Barton, Edward Markey, Jackie Speier, and Cliff Stearns, each of whom have sponsored privacy bills. The letter asked why Google made the changes, and requested responses to questions about what types of data the company will track and across which platforms, as well as how the data is protected and how it is used. Google’s January 30 response stated that in particular, the changes allow it to combine search history with YouTube data.
Before, “if a user is signed in and searching Google for cooking recipes, our current privacy policies wouldn’t let us recommend cooking videos when she visits YouTube based on her searches – even though she was signed into the same Google Account when using both Google Search and YouTube.”
The company’s less-than-detailed response may not satisfy lawmakers and privacy advocates seeking explicit information about what data Google collects and how it is used.
Also, they may criticize Google’s approach to enabling opt-out from tracking. “Individuals don’t need to sign in to use many of our services including Search, Maps, and YouTube. If a user is signed in, she can still edit or turn off her search history, switch Gmail chat to – off the record, control the way Google tailors ads to her interests using our Ads Preferences Manager, use Incognito mode on Chrome, or use any of the other privacy tools we offer,” wrote the company in its response.
“Sharing users’ personal information across its products may make good business sense for Google, but it undermines privacy safeguards for consumers,” stated Markey.
In their inquiry letter to Google, the lawmakers noted, “We believe that consumers should have the ability to opt-out of data collection when they are not comfortable with a company’s terms of service and that the ability to exercise that choice should be simple and straightforward.”
In an often fragmented workplace, where various departments have varying opinions and goals, it can be challenging to get everyone on the same page and make strategy meetings productive.
In part one a few weeks ago, we discussed what brand TLDs (top level domains) are, which brands are applying for them and why they might be important. Today, we’ll take an in-depth look at the potential benefits for brands, and explore the challenges brand TLDs could help solve.
According to a report, references to hashtags appeared in just 30% of Super Bowl 51's commercials this year, down from 45% a year ago.
The explosive growth of video in 2016 makes 2017 an important year for video content and as more publishers are tempted to use it, it’s useful to consider the best strategies to maximise its effectiveness.