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Posted on January 27, 2012 by Jennifer Pointer

 

Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile know that while I do enjoy using some Google products, I'm not exactly a fan of Google's newest social networking endeavor, Google+, due to some very serious privacy concerns.

 

But I believe it is important to give credit where credit is due, and this week Google announced a change to its privacy policy that will make it much easier for users to manage what is publicly viewable about them on the web.  The change will be effective in March. Some users may not have even been aware that some of the products they have been using are now owned by Google (like YouTube and Picasa), and interface with its other products.  Wikipedia keeps a running list of the products Google has acquired HERE.

 

Actually right now (and apparently there will be improvements between now and March 1st) you can go to your Google Dashboard (Google.com/Dashboard), login, and see all of the Google products you are signed up for using that Google profile.  You can then adjust your privacy to a level that suits you.  I recommend doing this now, and then again after March 1st.  Also, remember that if you have more than one Google profile (e.g. one for personal use and one for business), you'll want to sign in under each one separately.  After March 1st, all of these products will have one official privacy policy.  Mashable has some great information HERE and HERE.

Just remember that Google actually works for its paying customers, and who those customer are: The advertisers.  Google pays its bills by harvesting user data and packaging it in a way that is meaningful to its advertisers.  If you find this unacceptable, I hear Hotmail is trying get us all to switch back

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