Google's New Privacy Policy Is Live

What you can do about it
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2012 7:53 AM CST
Workmen hang a giant advertising banner for Google Internet search company on a building facade in Athens, Greece, on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

(Newser) – Google's new privacy policy, which Internet activists are not happy about, takes effect today—despite the fact that the EU has warned Google the changes might violate European law. France's privacy watchdog asked Google to delay rolling out the new policy, but Google refused, the BBC reports. Data regulators in that country have since launched an investigation into the legality of the policy across Europe. For now, there's nothing you can do to stop the search giant from collecting information about you whenever you use its services, and then storing all that information together in a sort of "personal dossier"—or, as the company put it, treating you "as a single user across all our products." However, the Los Angeles Times and the AP do have some tips:

  • Don't log in to Google: This will be particularly hard for those who are used to constantly having their Gmail or Google+ accounts open. But if you're just a casual YouTube or Picasa viewer, or you like to use Google's search engine or maps program, you can do all that without logging in—which means that whatever you search for or watch won't be linked to you for all time. Gmail or Google+ junkies should make sure to log out before doing anything else on Google.
  • Don't use Google: There are many, many other search engines. The best plan of all may be to use a variety, so that no one company knows everything you're searching for.
  • Go ahead and keep using Chrome: Google's Web browser, as well as its mobile payment processor Wallet, are still using their own separate privacy policies.
  • Use these tools: Click here to delete your search history or turn off the setting that lets Google record it in the first place. Click here to access your YouTube history. Click here to leave Google and take your documents and emails along with you. Click here to get an overview of what Google knows about you. Click here for more of Google's privacy tools. Last but not least, click here to take a look at the policy itself.
Click for more on how to limit Google's use of your information. (Read more Google stories.)

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