Good for Google or Good for You?

Google-PrivacyThe Google policies regarding privacy and security are constantly being discussed and criticised. Many believe that Google has too much control over our information and too much insight into our online behaviours. However, on the other hand, Google are quick to defend their position and insist they collect data on internet users in a way that is in their best interests. This is an issue that has hit the headlines again recently as Google have now moved all of the controls in relation to privacy and security into one single hub.

The search engine giant announced that they have made this move in order to make controls over privacy and security easier and more user friendly. They claim that it will also give users more access to view the data that is being stored about them and their internet activity. Although the settings themselves haven’t actually been changed at all, Google claims that by bringing them into one place that users will be able to make more intuitive choices.

This has generally been regarded as a positive move by industry experts, however, there has been some discussion as to whether this is simply a PR reaction to recent complaints against them. Several tech companies around the globe have been scrutinised in the past few weeks due to the way that they handle and store the data they collect from EU citizens.

The new Google hub for privacy and security is simply called My Account and it breaks down into three separate sections: sign in and security, personal info and privacy and account preferences. New visitors to this hub will be given a walk-through of the new areas and shown where all of the relevant information is stored. They will then be given the option to set their preferences in regards to what data they would like to continue to be collected. New visitors will only need to spend a few minutes setting their preferences and understanding the hub before the process is complete. However, they will of course be able to return at any point and update their choices.

Google have expressed that this move is just the latest development in their continued efforts to protect their users and their information. However, it has been questioned as to whether the new hub actually encourages people to opt in to further data collection as opposed to protecting them against it.

Good for the user or good for Google?

By Alix Jones