Google’s Privacy Issue Isn’t Really an Issue

Over the last few days, I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading about Google’s new privacy policy. It has received some positive and negative views. Privacy, to many, is a premium; we don’t want our information shared or sold to anyone. Of course, I enjoy privacy, too.

Here’s a (not so) little secret, though. When you log onto Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., your information is out there. You signed up for a Gmail account or to have a Twitter profile, you understood there was a risk. So why so many complaints about your privacy being infringed upon? Because we all need something to take issue with nowadays.

Let’s be perfectly honest, if we were all so worried about our privacy, we wouldn’t be sharing photos of what shoes or suits we like on Pinterest, we wouldn’t let people know that we were “in a relationship with so and so” on Facebook, and we certainly wouldn’t let everyone know we just purchased a venti java chip at Starbucks via Foursquare.

Privacy is something we like to throw around like we still value it. Sure, I don’t want people to know my bank account statements or medical history. But, I’ve chosen to be on social networks and if you are reading this, so did you.

Remember the uproar over Facebook’s privacy changes? Yup, it didn’t last too long. Here’s what Google had to say in an email they sent to users over the weekend:

Dear Google user,

We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.

We believe this stuff matters, so please take a few minutes to read our updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Service at http://www.google.com/policies. These changes will take effect on March 1, 2012.

Pretty simple, right?

The bottom line here is that we have chosen to live our lives online now. If you don’t agree with the changes to Google, Facebook, or whatever social network adjusts their policies, shut down your profile. It’s that easy. However, I’m thinking you’ll continue to go on posting updates and photos just like everyone else.

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  • Couldn’t agree more. If you don’t want others to see your photos, well then don’t upload any, but then don’t complain when privacy policy changes and someone else might have seen your pictures. By signing up in these networks, by putting yourself out there you should automatically accept the risk. In the end, it’s your choice.  

    • Thanks for your comment, Iliyana! Appreciate you reading.

  • Pingback: Independent Brains » Google: uw privacy is ons geld!()

  • I just blogged about this issue a few days ago. It’s a love/hate issue for many people, but Google’s attempt to customize the online experience could just be the first step. It’ll be interesting to see the convenience vs. privacy battle that ensues if NFC/mobile payments takes off (like Google Wallet). When someone can pay for a shirt, check-in on Foursquare and tweet about their purchase all with a swipe of a cell phone.

  • Jen

    You put a very interesting take on it and if people saw it as you have clearly stated it then there would be little uproar.  I suppose you’re right and we can’t have it both ways.  When someone signs up for anything online they have to realize there is a risk.  End of story.

  • When you join a social network, your life becomes an open book. In a way, we’ve all become celebrities. 🙂

  • Jeff

    There are companies like duck duck go, or start page. hushmail who respect the user

    yes it is true if our going to put your life on the web, well don’t cry when it comes back on you

    people are being brainwashed and forgetting what privacy really means