*Google Made a Major Change to Its Privacy Policy—Here’s How to Opt Out

By Declan Dunn at TechViews.org   …..

Previously, Google had a policy of making privacy a priority. But this past summer that policy was changed. Information gathered from your web searches is now comingled with data collected from your Gmail. We are still not sure who gets that personal and private information after collection because all we know is that it is given to government authorities and sold to advertisers for revenue.

Afterall, that’s the business model Google was built on. A notice was sent to Gmail users recently that stated: user activity “on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google’s services and the ads delivered by Google.”

At first, this change was dismissed by most Google users until the magnitude started to set in. The publication,  ProPublica, recently took a closer look. If you were an existing user at the time of the change, you would have received an opt-in request titled something along the lines of “Some new features for your Google account.” Anyone who has signed up for an account since then would have been opted in by default.

Previously, DoubleClick ads that popped up in your browser were only based on users’ Google searches—but now they can reference keywords mined from Gmail as well. It’s easy to see how this might raise privacy concerns for some users, especially those who weren’t aware of the switch.

To see if you’re affected, go to the Activity Controls section on Google’s My Account page. If the box that reads “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services” is unchecked, you’re in the clear.

Unfortunately, Google has joined Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter in a massive data collection program of personal data and private information.

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