How Creepy is Google's New Privacy Policy?

March 20, 2012
By "Privacy Mom" Evelyn Castillo-Bach ... ...

Google's new privacy policy went into effect on March 1, 2012. Now it's a done deal. But, are you still wondering how Google's new privacy policy will impact you? Here is a quick summary. You may want to sit down.

Google can link you to your phone number and even your telecommunications carrier. It knows what kind of computer you use, what operating system you use, and possibly the serial number of your machine.

Google's new policy also states that it has the right to collect your IP address, which can be used to trace you to your physical address.

Google can collect all of your call records, including who you call, when you call them, and for how long you talk, including your SMS routing information. It's not clear if Google is tracking calls made only through its services or if it is referring to calls you make on your mobile phone. Google states that it will "associate your device identifiers or phone number with your Google Account," and "collect device-specific information."

Google Policy:
"We may collect device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information including phone number). Google may associate your device identifiers or phone number with your Google Account."

Google also has the power to change your name to identify who you really are and show it to others without your express consent:

Google Policy:
"We may use the name you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services. If other users already have your email, or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Google Profile information, such as your name and photo."

What to do?
Yes, you should absolutely go to your Google dashboard and use the privacy settings there to try and limit the amount of information that is available to others. But its anyone's guess whether this will work to keep you as private as you may want.

Evelyn Castillo-Bach is the founder of UmeNow.

UmeNow has banned all tracking and all ads. UmeNow's 2-tier membership structure promises the same privacy protection to its free members. Premium level members who subscribe for $6.00/ month have access to all site areas. UmeNow entered into its silent launch in July 2011.

Evelyn Castillo-Bach is also the founder of Collegiate Nation--also known as - the first and only private network exclusively for college students. Castillo-Bach was interviewed earlier this year by Miami television to address privacy issues impacting college students.

View interview:
Employers, Schools checking your social media…

Both Collegiate Nation and UmeNow are known for fiercely protecting the privacy rights of its members. All ads, third party apps and games are banned because they are back doors to tracking and extracting private information. Castillo-Bach earned her M.S. in 1993 from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Below are two interviews by independent blog radio broadcasters who asked Evelyn to discuss privacy issues and data collection by Facebook, Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Listen to radio broadcasts:

Achieving Your Dreams in Our Crazy World – The Dangers of Social Networking, and a Solution!…

Evelyn Castillo-Bach "Privacy Mom" Internet Privacy…

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