DENVER (CBS4) – Google made it easier for its advertisers to know more about its users. That also means people’s life became less private
When searching Google for news, sending personal email using Google’s Gmail, or checking Google Maps for driving directions, Google knows where the user has been and will use it to help its advertising partners find them.
“It’s one thing if they’re trying to sell you something you like,” Nick Burston of Denver said. “It’s another if they’re trying to take your location and know exactly where you are at all times.”
“I don’t think it’s their business what’s in my email,” Tiffany Logan of Boulder said.
Words go into a Google database destined for advertisers, but a Boston-based privacy analyst raises a legal fear.
“It’s a machine; it can end up becoming eyes if there’s a request maybe for like a lawsuit,” privacy analyst Sarah Downey said.
Before the new policy, Google search didn’t have access to YouTube activity, viewing and search history. The same applies for Gmail, Google Documents and Google Voice, among several other products. But now they know more.
“Technology every day in general advances more and I don’t know what they’re going to come out with next,” Katherine Lunn of Sheridan said.
Google argues privacy invasion concerns are overblown.
“I think it’s largely based on misperception. I think people think something is happening that is not in fact happening,” Google Senior Privacy Counsel Keith Enright said.
Downey worries about all information eggs being in one basket.
“So all it takes is one data breach, one big hack and you’ve got the worst data breach in history on your hands,” Downey said.
Anything searched on Google is now in their database, however a company called Abine.com has a free product available. It’s called Protected Search. Download it onto a computer and Abine says it will mask the personal IP address.