[LINK] Understanding Google's new privacy policy

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Fri Feb 3 09:40:58 AEDT 2012

At 9:18 +1100 3/2/12, Kim Holburn wrote:
>>  Understanding Google's new privacy policy: your YouTube activity 
>>will now be linked to your searches

EFF's Rainey Reitman has written far more clearly than I ever manage.

But he's missed the likelihood that Google Docs data may now be 
available for Google's ad-targeting purposes as well.

And he's missed the fact that the changes have retrospective effect 
on all of the data gifted to Google via use of at least Search and 
YouTube, ever (and quite possibly all Google Docs content, ever, as 

And he's missed the fact that all of each person's data-trails is 
available to Google for ad-targeting to other people as well, not 
just the person themselves.

And he's missed the fact that we may all have missed a great many 
other changes, because Google has failed to provide a 'differences 
document', and it's extremely difficult to analyse 2 documents 
against 70.

And he's missed the fact that Google has asserted that it can make 
any change it wants, any time it likes, and needs give no notice in 
advance, and needs give notice only by means of a note somewhere on 
its web-site.

In other words, any undertaking that Google ever gives you is 
completely worthless, because it can and will be reneged on.

APF's fuller analysis of the problems is here, and is in front of the 

At 9:18 +1100 3/2/12, Kim Holburn wrote:
>>  Understanding Google's new privacy policy: your YouTube activity 
>>will now be linked to your searches
>>  When Google changed its privacy policy last week, they made a 
>>strong effort to ensure that everyone knew that a change had 
>>occurred, but if you tried to figure out what had actually changed, 
>>you had to wade through a lot of buzzwords and legalese. Now the 
>>Electronic Frontier Foundation's Rainey Reitman explains it in 
>>simple language:
>>  Here's what you need to know about the substantive changes in the 
>>new policy:
>>>  1. Up until March 1, 2012, the data Google collected on you when 
>>>you used YouTube was carefully cabined away from your other Google 
>>>products. So, in effect, Google could use data they collected on 
>>>YouTube to improve and customize the users' YouTube experience, 
>>>but couldn't use the data to customize and improve user experience 
>>>on, say, Google+.
>>>  2. The same siloing took place for your search history. 
>>>Previously, Google search data was kept separate from other 
>>>products. Even when users were logged in, Google promised not to 
>>>share the information they gathered about you from your Google 
>>>search history when customizing their other products. Considering 
>>>how uniquely sensitive user search history can be (indicating 
>>>vital facts about your location, interests, age, sexual 
>>>orientation, religion, health concerns, and much more), this was 
>>>an important privacy protection.
>>>  The new privacy policy removes the separation between YouTube, 
>>>Google search, and other Google products. By describing the change 
>>>as "treat[ing] you as a single user," Google intends to remove the 
>>>privacy-protective separations from YouTube and Google search.
>>  I used to have Firefox plugin that turned off my Google cookie 
>>unless I was visiting a service where I wanted to be logged in -- 
>>that is, I could automatically log in to Gmail and Google Docs, but 
>>I wasn't logged in for searches, YouTube, and BlogSpot. It 
>>disappeared a few versions back. Does anyone know of a contemporary 
>>equivalent? Post it in the comments.
>Here's how to add new search bar engines to firefox:
>(works for other OSs)
>One of the commenters in Cory's article suggested duckduckgo.com
>Kim Holburn
>IT Network & Security Consultant
>T: +61 2 61402408  M: +61 404072753
>mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
>skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request
>Link mailing list
>Link at mailman.anu.edu.au

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law               University of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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