In June 2016, Google’s privacy settings changed slightly. User’s personally identifiable information from Gmail, Youtube and other accounts have been merged with their browsing history from across the internet.
You’re probably aware that websites keep track of your preferences and online behaviour using cookies even without you signing in and creating an account. Conglomerate websites such as Google and Facebook are able to keep track of what you are doing and then present you with similar advertising and content. For example, Facebook can track both logged-in users and non-users across the internet whenever they visit websites that feature Facebook’s “like” or “share” buttons via social plugins
However, Google’s recent changes mean that they have the names, email addresses and search data of their users. This alters their previous pledge which suggested that they would not combine information collected from cookies with personally identifiable information. The new policy reads:
“Depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google’s services and the ads delivered by Google”.
Many believe that this is a huge breach of privacy and although these changes have not been hidden, they have also not been advertised either. Google has responded to the controversy and claim that the change is giving people a better control over their data. They say that it is a direct response to the rise of the smartphone.
Many believe that a large number of users were tricked into opting in to the changes as the features were hidden in a lengthy explanation that many did not take the time to read. You are able to opt out of this feature by following the simple steps below:
– Go to the Activity Controls Section of your Google account.
– Under Web & App Activity, uncheck the box labelled “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google Services”.
So what do you think about Google’s new ad tracking? Let us know at @ProlificLive!