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Google's Tracking You (Even More Than Before)

While Google hasn't been known for its strong privacy practices when it comes to your information, it's taking the next leap towards ex-girlfriend stalker levels with its new tracking service.

Starting March 1, Google will monitor every move you make in Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Docs, Google +, search, maps and other online services into a database. According to the company, the purpose of this is to provide more accurate and personal online search results.

Good luck trying to keep this info away from Google -- the only way to avoid having a detailed file in its database is to shut down your Google accounts.

While I'm sure Google won't use the information for any other purpose than providing accurate search results and targeted ad placement, it's still a bit creepy to know that no matter what you do online, this corporation knows it.

And James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, an online group that advocates safe online practices for children and families also agrees with the creep factor: "Google's new privacy announcement is frustrating and a little frightening. Even if the company believes that tracking users across all platforms improves their services, consumers should still have the option to opt out, especially the kids and teens who are avid users of YouTube, Gmail, and Google search."

How do you feel about Google watching your every move? Is it a violation of your privacy or is it just how business has to be done online? Answers welcome at cpaoli@1105media.com.
-- By Chris Paoli

Posted by Chris Paoli on 01/30/2012 at 1:19 PM


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Reader Comments:

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 Paul from Long Island

I may be naieve, but I don't think Google retains very much information about me. I never login to Google, and I don't use gmail or any of its other services. I delete all of my cookies and LSO's after each session. They might have my router's IP address in there somewhere, but that doesn't seem too revealing.
(FYI to anonymous, Google owns YouTube also.)

Tue, Jan 31, 2012 Mike Washington, DC

I agree that this is an invasion of privacy. While I am concerned with Google having this information, my main concern is more about how well will they be able to protect the information that they collect. Google should be held financially accountable for any Personally Identifiable Information that they allow to be compromised. I guess it's time for me to start using a different search engine.

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 TJ TX

Well, one has to remember Google has never been free and does come at a price (your info). As Lifehacker stated "If You’re Not Paying for It; You’re the Product". It still creeps me out though and I feel I should have an option to opt out of some things. Maybe if Google offered an ad-free paid subscription for it's services, then maybe one could Opt Out.

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Total violation of privacy and, like JC, I'm more worried about the government or other third parties (legit or hacked) getting access to the data. Best to not put all your eggs in one basket. Use YouTube, Bing, Yahoo email and get a Blackberry phone. That way, nobody can put all of your info into one file.

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 EOS Colorado

It's a violation of my privacy - always has been and always will be. Kind of like the tracking cookies you are using on this site.

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Google could already do this they are just making it easier. This is why I never got a Google account.

Mon, Jan 30, 2012 JC Seattle, WA

Google's new tracking endeavor is a total violation of privacy. Not that it matters. Gov't wants the information and it's easier to sweep Google's database than it is to answer pesky Constitutional questions.

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

THANKS FOR THE INFO!

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

THEY WERE GOING TO KNOW REGARDLESS!!!!!

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