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It's Now Impossible to Opt Out of Google's New Privacy Policy

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. | Last updated on

There's a lot of hoopla surrounding Google's new privacy policy, but for the most part, it just simplifies the status quo. It consolidates 60 product-specific privacy policies into one company-wide document.

That document doesn't change the way Google shares personal data with third parties, according to PC Mag. Nor does it change the type of data the company collects. It only changes the way Google shares your personal data with you.

Privacy advocates are still concerned because consumers will have no way to opt out.

Google's new privacy policy is actually part of a greater plan. Starting March 1, the company will begin collecting information from across its product line and create single user profiles.

When a user is signed-in, search results will reflect his RSS feeds and Google+ preferences. Ads will reflect items in Google Calendar and YouTube views.

Everything a user does on the Google platform will be more personalized, and in turn, Google can sell more targeted ads.

From a business perspective, this could prove to be a very lucrative move. But on the privacy front, some are questioning whether Google has gone too by making it impossible for users to opt out.

For some, data integration will improve the user experience. For others, it will seem a bit creepy. But shouldn't users be able to decide for themselves? And is Google obligated to let them? 

The company is still subject to April's FTC Google Buzz settlement. Under those terms, Google must develop a comprehensive privacy policy and is subject to independent privacy audits for 20 years.

Does Google's new privacy policy and integration plan survive the settlement terms? Or should counsel be waiting for the Federal Trade Commission to call?

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