Google Opens Its Umbrella
In another step toward complete information integration for its users, Google today announced it will merge all its user data into one handy file.
This provoked a firestorm of questions and controversy as privacy advocates tried to figure out exactly what was being merged, and users tried to figure out what it meant for them.
Since Google+ first came along I have been saying that I see it as a huge umbrella under which all Google properties will eventually be placed. In this way Google+ will continue to expand its reach, gobbling up users who might only have a Blogger account, YouTube account, Gmail or Picasa account. By using their network in this way Google+ doesn’t need to directly compete with Facebook for users, because it already has users. All it needs to do is re-direct those users to Google+ to make their numbers jump.
This merging of personal information, Google says, is only meant to improve the way users receive advertisements on its network. They can focus specifically on what users want because, well, they know what you want. If you searched for it, or accessed it in any way, Google will know and share that information with its network of properties, so no matter what Google property you are using, it will (in theory) already know what you like.
In the meantime privacy activists say this is coming close to creating an atmosphere akin to ‘Big Brother’ within the Google network, but the company is committed and shows no signs of backing down.
For now users can take some comfort in Google’s written promise that they do not plan to share any personal information it gathers on its users. Of course, we’ve all heard those promises before…
Google plans to start combining information the company collects about each user of its various websites and services into a single profile, the company announced on Tuesday.
Previously, Google said it did not create comprehensive profiles across its various properties, including its leading search engine, Android smartphone operating system and YouTube video site.
In a statement, Alma Whitten, a Google privacy director, wrote that the changes “will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.” She added, “Our recently launched personal search feature is a good example of the cool things Google can do when we combine information across products.”
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