The ACLU examines Google’s new privacy policy

Recently, Google announced a new universal privacy policy across most of their products that will take effect on March 1st. The amalgamation of their privacy policies will allow them to combine personal data shared by its users across almost all of its products and websites. There is no opting-out of the new features unless internet users use their websites without logging into their personal accounts.

The ACLU took a close look at what this means for users on their technology blog here. Their main concern is that the cross-pollination of data allows what you do on one Google-owned site to affect what is displayed on another Google-owned site. Many people Google-search things every day that are highly personal and this information could be used to spawn targeted ads when using other websites such as Youtube. Further, advertisements could be spawned on other Google websites based on private e-mail content as well as search terms.

A final concern is with anonymity. The new policy will make it difficult for users to disassociate their accounts with certain sites from their real identities. Many people use these services with placeholder accounts not directly tied to their own names. The new policy will replace past names associated with your accounts with your real name so that users are represented by a single name across all of Google’s services.

You can read the new privacy policy from Google here.