Google’s Unified Privacy Policy is Now Live

Davis LLP Privacy Bulletin

March 02, 2012

Notwithstanding the significant concerns expressed by regulators, such as the Commission Nationale de L'informatique et Des Libertes (CNIL), the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA – which includes the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada) and numerous US Attorneys General, Google has proceeded with its consolidation of privacy policies for its various services. The consolidation will mean that Google account holders who use various Google services, such as Search, You Tube and Gmail, will be treated as one individual.

One commentator described the implication of this change as follows "if you e-mail your mother [using Gmail] to tell her about the new puppies you adopted, the suggested videos you see the next time you visit YouTube may be about cute puppies". Presumably, you'll also be seeing pop up advertisements for dog food.

Google's competitors are, of course, suggesting their products (e.g. Bing) as an alternative, for those who are concerned about these changes. Commentators have offered partial workarounds for those who wish to continue using their Google account.

Google points to the highly visible notifications that were placed on its website about the impending changes and says that its new policy is simple and clear and complies with data protection laws.

Stay tuned for further coverage, as there is no doubt that complaints will be made about this development to various privacy authorities.

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