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February03

Google Privacy Becoming Google Prison?

The day is soon approaching, fellow Googlers. The day when all your internet eggs will be placed in one big basket. Effective March 1, 2012, Google will be enforcing a new Privacy Policy on all Google services, products, and websites.The policy will combine all your web activity and information into one large, interconnected account. Some of us are loosening our collars, others are nodding in agreement…. The juiciest part is that this policy change is not an option, it will become the standard. So what exactly does this mean for users?

How often do you use Google? Well, if you use Google+ for social networking, Gmail for your email, Google as your search engine for anything, Google Maps for finding your way around town, Google Calender for planning your dates and appointments, Google Finance for managing your checkbook, or even Youtube for your entertainment (or boredom) videos; those are all Google property, baby! Essentially, this new policy will have no longer have all these things separate, but unified as one big internet machine. The Updated Privacy Policy makes your searches more contextual. So when your Gcalender indicates your haircut appointment, Google Maps will provide directions to the salon. Or when you watch videos on making homemade peanut butter (we’re assuming you’re into this kind of thing) the next time you search for healthy recipes on Google, the first search returns will appear as ‘best peanut butter recipe’ or something of the sort. The list goes on. There are, of course, some who find this more creepy than convenient.

In fact, the government is getting involved with this new policy change, and getting a lot of heat from the press, too. Eight U.S. Senators challenged that Google’s new Privacy Policy was unlawful, against the consent of the consumer, and potentially dangerous if abused. The whole idea that one user is treated as the same individual across services in this new policy borders on the violation of rights. Others are saying, that this whole Privacy scare is nothing to worry about. It’s nothing but a Wake-Up Call and won’t get out of hand. However, it may start getting you to pay more attention to all your activity on the net. And what’s the difference between this and the Facebook Timeline? Are people whining about that, too?!

Okay. Sit back. Take a few deep breaths. That’s right, relax. If some of you are beginning to worry that this is an intrusion of your privacy, you’re not at a dead-end. There are other options out there. If you don’t want one giant company overseeing everything you do, then just go back to the ancient 2008 way of handling all your internet business. You can use a hotmail or yahoo account for your email, you can use Facebook for social networking, you can Bing your searches instead of googling them. Don’t get all paranoid, though, we figure it won’t turn out to be a big deal…(gulp) Google is even clarifying the new policy in a statement.

It’s all business competition, people. It’s a reaction to social networking giant, Facebook, who is battling for the Google gargantuan throne with all its bells and whistles.

It’s monster eat monster out there, so be careful. It’s safe to say that whatever you put on the internet now is no longer personal, everything is public. That means even the things you think are well-hidden will be accessible to big companies. Our motto is if you can avoid the waves, then grab a Margarita and watch them from the shoreline. It’s easier to swim after the high tide has settled…if you catch our drift.

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