News | 9/03/2012

Google’s watching you

Posted by Lawrence Greenlee

With the recent announcement of Google’s new privacy rules, it is no secret that the search engine giant is now able to collect data from individuals which can be used to filter search results and target adverts directly at them.

While it is clear the advantages this has for Google, many users are being left in the dark about what information Google has on them and who it’s being shared with. Many are unsure about the privacy rules and the EU authorities claim that the rules breach European law.

As Google glosses over the fact that it will be extracting information on its customers, it is keen to emphasis that the user’s experience will actually be enhanced. Google states that their services such as Gmail, YouTube and Blogger will link better together to create a single user profile, and services will improve over time to allow users to get the most from the web.

Evidently it should enhance the experience users have and provide more relevant information rather than pages and pages of unrelated material, however many feel that Google is abusing its power to target advertisers.

Many users of the internet probably wouldn’t be put off by the change in Google’s privacy rules, however those that are should just follow a few simple rules to make sure they limit the amount of information Google can access.

To avoid your information being collected stay logged out of your Gmail account whilst conducting searches, or use a different login for each site
Google can collect data if you are logged out but only by the computer’s IP address instead of you as an individual.

Clear your browser history or cache at least once a week to remove items such as tracking cookies that save information.

So next time you use Google to search for something, remember Google is watching you.