Googles new Terms of Service: Much Ado About Nothing?

02 February, 2012 08:34PM ยท 2 minute read

Google has updated its Terms of Service and its Privacy Policy and have a helpful FAQ for those that don’t feel like reading the longer two documents. Breaking them down there’s not much to read that isn’t obvious: Google capture everything thing you type into their search engine, log IP addresses and if you’re logged in with your account they can match it against searches from the same place with the same IP address or address range and with cookies (not the edible ones okay).

If you have Google Docs, Adsense, Analytics, Reader, GMail or even Google+ then it’s all being combined into a single login system with a single set of terms and conditions. As I see it, their FAQ states the obvious contradiction:

“Is Google collecting more information about me?” ‘No, Google is not collecting more data about you…’

Followed by:

“What should I expect to see change as a result of this?” ‘Over time you can expect to see better search results, ads and other content…’

Purely by correlating information posted on each individual service, now that they have your formal permission to do so.

Frankly I find it difficult to believe that they aren’t already doing this sort of correlation or at least some level of it. The updated Terms and Privacy policy simply make it official: ‘You knew we said we were doing it so you have no right to complain about it!’

Should you be worried about this? If I’m right - it’s no different to what they’re already doing in the background. If you’re not currently worried and carry on and enjoy yourself! If not, cancel your accounts and go elsewhere. I won’t be.

Google just want to legitimise they already do. Good for them.