Just over a month ago, Google announced a major change in the way it manages its customers’ data and thus does business. Google announced that it was updating its privacy policies and Terms of Service.
This change involved an explicit merging of user data across all Google services. Thus the content of a message on Gmail can now be used by Google to provide more relevant search results to the user.
While this change has many user experience benefits, it also raises several privacy concerns. Data protection agencies in the European Union are already suggesting that these changes may fall foul of EU law. In the mean time, Google has launched an aggressive campaign to ‘educate’ its users about its new policies. These changes came into effect on March 1, 2012.
While we’ve undertaken the most extensive user education campaign in our history to explain the coming changes, we know there has been a fair amount of chatter and confusion.