Google has changed its policy to collect information from users and share it across all its services including YouTube, Google+ and Gmail.
The company’s Peter Barron said: “When people use Google services these days – they may be using a range of different services – what they’re looking for is a beautiful, seamless experience. They just want it to work. So what we’re doing in combining the different services is giving better answers, better results – giving better information to our users.”
The French data protection regulator expressed ‘strong doubts’ about the legality of harvesting personal information across services. Google has twice rejected European requests to delay the new policy.
Nick Pickles from the privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch said: “There’s a principal issue with how companies respect regulators when they do have concerns, and in particular with companies like Google where you’re not paying for the service. You have to remember, because you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.”
Google claims that by reducing 60 guidelines into one, things are simpler for everyone.
For them it means lucrative advert sales can be tailored to an individual’s personal internet activity.
The EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said Google’s new policy breaks European rules on transparency.