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Google’s New Privacy Settings Concern Some Users

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(Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – New privacy settings for all Google related services went into effect today.  From YouTube to Gmail to Andriod phones – should users be worried about the changes?

Chances are you have used a Google product – so how will this affect you?

Lee Haney of Cranberry reflects a sentiment shared by many technophiles.

“They’re going for everything.  It links Google+, YouTube, and Google to everything. So they basically can search your entire life,” he said.

Well, almost.  If you use Google to search online for information or YouTube for favorite videos or Gmail for email or a back-up for an Android smart phone, Google’s new privacy policy collects all that data into one profile. 

Victoria Woodward of Avalon said growing up in the computer age has tempered her expectations for online privacy.

“I know that everyone is looking and that the internet is not something that is going to be private probably ever.”

While most people do believe that there is nothing you can do to keep Google from knowing what you are doing online, computer privacy experts say there are some things that will help minimize Google’s tracking of your information.

Lorrie Cranor, a computer privacy expert at Carnegie Mellon University, told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano it is easy for Google to distort your internet use, especially when you research.

“You’re trying to get information. It’s not because it’s your beliefs.  And Google doesn’t know the difference. So somebody looking at your profile might make assumptions about you that are not true,” Cranor said.

So what can you do?

“You can go to Google.com/dashboard and you’ll see all the information that Google has in your account,” Cranor said.

And you can edit or remove that information.

As for sites you have searched, Cranor said, “You can go to google.com/history and see all the searches you have made on different days.”

Remove that history – Cranor said it is not too late to act.

“No, it’s not too late.  In the worst case, you could go and delete all of your Google accounts right now and never use Google again.”

RELATED LINKS
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CBS News: “Google’s privacy policy change takes effect”
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