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Google Revises Its Privacy Policy

Publication Date: 
January 25, 2012
National Public Radio - All Things Considered
Steve Henn

Director of Privacy and Robotics at the Center for Internet and Society Ryan Calo was a guest on NPR's All Things Considered with Melissa Host. The broadcast, which focused on Google's new privacy policy, can be found here.


And I'm Melissa Block. Google is revamping its privacy policies, and privacy advocates are not happy about it. The changes will allow Google to track its registered users across the Web. NPR's Steve Henn reports.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Google executives say they're making these changes for simplicity's sake. Taken together, Google sites and services have more than 70 separate privacy policies. There's one for search, one for YouTube, another for Gmail. But starting March 1st, most of these will be rolled into one. And in most cases, information collected by one part of the company will be shared throughout Google's online empire. That means if you Google Prozac, you might see an ad for Zoloft the next time you're on YouTube.


RYAN CALO: I think the danger for Google is that people may be surprised and may be creeped out by just how much the company seems to know about them.

HENN: Ryan Calo directs privacy studies at Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. He says there's legitimate reason to be concerned, but there's also a chance that Google will use all this data it collects to create new, better products. And that's exactly what Alan Eustace, a VP at Google, says the company is hoping to do.