Google’s Privacy Change: Not Such a Bad Thing
01/31/2012 2 Comments
Google runs a LOT of popular services. Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, YouTube…all of these have millions (even billions!) of users. The problem is each service requires a separate account. You needed to sign up every time you wanted to use a different service, meaning each service required its own username, password, and set of terms and privacy conditions.
Last week, Google decided to fix this problem by integrating account information over all of their services. Google outlined the changes in a blog post, saying settings and information used on one service can now be used on all other services. Many people, especially businesses using Google Apps, have been wishing for this for years. The benefits being:
- Privacy policies easier to read.
- Sharing data across products makes for a better user experience.
- Services integrate seamlessly , making them more convenient to use.
So, Google’s privacy changes now say “We have this information you gave us, and it’s going to apply it to all of our services.” Users will have a single login for email, the Marketplace, YouTube, Google Music, and any other Google service. Settings and preferences will automatically migrate over as your same account information is used on every service.
We’ve all become paranoid over privacy changes due to other services such as Facebook getting a reputation for mishandling information, but I actually see this change as a positive thing. Other large companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and others have done this for years. For instance, with Microsoft, I have a single account I use to log into their Support areas, Software Development areas, and even their XBox and Zune music service. Google is shaping itself in the same way, but the fact they came together in a piecemeal fashion (many parts of Google were acquired through purchases rather than internal development), integration proved to be more difficult.
Note that TOAST.net’s privacy policies regarding customer information have not changed.
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