If you're a serious professional on Gmail who secretly spends time commenting on kooky cat videos on YouTube, prepare for your disparate online identities to converge.
Google is on the brink of linking user data across its email, video, and social-networking sites, a move the web giant says will create a "simpler, more intuitive user experience." But critics condemn the change as an invasion of privacy.
The CBC Community had strong reactions, with many expressing alarm at the changes.
- "So what happened to 'Don't be Evil?'" - What me worry
- "The internet was intended to be a place where you could gather and transfer information, largely marketing-free. It is, instead, turning into a corporate marketer's dream." - Edmontonian
- "I'll make you a deal, Google. I will pay you directly for your email and video services if you throw out all my personal information and never advertise to me ever again. I don't want anything new from you ever for all I care, just stop screwing up what you used to do right." - QunorW
- "Back in the day ... I'd be creeped out if I walked into a library, they tracked all the books I read or glance at, the people I sat with (or time spent alone); or handed me a stack of books based on what they recorded me reading the previous day. But now - having your every move is just another day at the office I suppose." - OldNappy
Others were not fazed. Some argued that it's just the price users pay for the services Google provides, and that automatic information-sharing even has its benefits.
- "I fail to see how Google mining my data to target ads at me is an invasion of privacy, I personally like my searches targeted towards what I'm interested in. I provide data to them and in exchange I get free services from them." - Cabbey
- "Just don't use Google products. You do not have to sign in to use the search engine so searches are not any more of an issue they were than before." - HoboMan
- "Ya want privacy? Then stay away from all forms of social networking. The moment you decide that you want to participate in sharing your personal information, you've already willingly signed away your privacy . . . Who needs money...information is the real power. Google might not have it all, but they're getting close." - -PeBo-
- "What most people don't seem to understand is that Google already collects all of this information anyway if you are signed in. The only real thing that changes here is that instead of your information being in 100 different Google buckets, it will now be in 1." - wunderbar
Users who are unhappy will have to unsubscribe to Google's services, as they will not be allowed to opt out of the changes, which take effect March 1.
Do you think Google's new terms of service are a threat to your privacy? Do you care if your Google-powered identities collide? Will the change affect your use of the company's services? Let us know in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
More entries for category: Science & Technology
Meet the Community Team
CBC News Community team, from left to right: Andrew Yates, Andrea Lee-Greenberg, Lauren O'Neil, John Bowman
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