2. March 2012–
Google’s changes, implemented yesterday despite previous concerns voiced by the EU, mean that some 60 privacy policies have been combined into one, so that information such as browsing history and user data will now be stored across accounts such as Google+, Gmail, YouTube, Blogger and Google Docs.
It means that Google can refine search results using this combined information – and also offer up more targetted advertising, of course...
Many data protection campaigners have already voiced concerns over the personal implications of such a move, and France’s privacy watchdog, CNIL has expressed “deep concerns” and launched a Europe-wide investigation, pressing for a pause in the policy rollout.
Google seem unconcerned by the European concerns, with Google's global privacy spokesperson Peter Fleischer stating on his blog: "As we've said several times over the past week, while our privacy policies will change on 1 March, our commitment to our privacy principles is as strong as ever.”
The European judge issued a strong statement saying: “Protection of personal data is a basic rule of the European Union. It is inscribed in the treaties. It is not an if, it is a must.”
• Access (and delete) browsing and search history manually here
• See which Google services hold data on you by viewing your Google dashboard
• Perform Google searches without signing in to your account
• Use multiple accounts and use them for different activities – so have a different YouTube user account to your Gmail etc
• Further reading on tools that can help to avoid Google tracking