The Inquirer-Home

Google users are not bothered about privacy

Just one in ten check policies
Tue Feb 28 2012, 12:42

DESPITE THE CONTROVERSY that Google's privacy policy changes have caused, just 12 per cent of Google users have checked on the firm's upcoming changes.

The privacy policy changes come into effect this week, but according to Big Brother Watch many of the people affected are unconcerned.

Others are worried though, people like attorneys, US Senators and the competition. It should come as some surprise then that end users are less bothered.

Big Brother Watch carried out a study with Yougov in which it found that although 92 per cent of people use a Google service, two thirds are not aware that the changes are due. Of those surveyed, 47 per cent said that they did not know any change was proposed, suggesting that they do not use their Google services often.

The Big Brother Watch survey follows warnings from Europe about the changes and a request that Google postpone them and allow for more study.

"[We] believe consumers are not adequately aware of the impact of these changes. This is all to clear as despite being just days away, only 12 per cent of Google service users have read Google's new privacy policy and less than half (40 per cent) of Google service users think the company should bring it into force as planned on March 1st 2012," it said.

"Much more needs to be done to inform consumers what these changes mean, and how they can take control of their personal information before the changes come into effect. The impact of Google's new policy cannot be understated, but the public are in the dark about what the changes actually mean."

Big Brother Watch has written to the UK's Information Commissioner and asked his organisation to look at the changes and what they mean for users. It suggested that Google is "burying" information about the changes in legal jargon and "vague statements" and called for more clarity about their impact.

Google has consistently knocked back its critics and stands by its changes, saying that they do not have a negative impact on personal privacy. However, Big Brother Watch disagrees.

"This change isn't about Google collecting more data, it's about letting the company combine what's in your emails with the videos you watch and the things you search for, and ultimately increase their profits," it added.

"If people don't understand what is happening to their personal information, how can they make an informed choice about using a service? Google is putting advertiser's interests before user privacy and should not be rushing ahead before the public understand what the changes will mean." µ

 

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