Google to Merge User Data across Its Services

By Cnn, Mark Milian | St. Joseph News-Press, January 24, 2012 | Go to article overview

Google to Merge User Data across Its Services


Cnn, Mark Milian, St. Joseph News-Press


(CNN) -- Google plans to start combining information the company collects about each user of its various websites and services into a single profile, the company announced on Tuesday.

Previously, Google said it did not create comprehensive profiles across its various properties, including its leading search engine, Android smartphone operating system and YouTube video site.

In a statement, Alma Whitten, a Google privacy director, wrote that the changes "will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience." She added, "Our recently launched personal search feature is a good example of the cool things Google can do when we combine information across products."

That change, called Google Search Plus Your World, brought criticism from rivals Facebook and Twitter, which said that Google+ content now buries their own pages in Google's search engine, and from people who do not care to use Google's new social network.

The new privacy policy, too, has already sparked concerns voiced on social networks, including on Google's own platform.

"Google consolidating data -- gives me some cause for concern," Robert Mason, a professor of information technology at the University of Washignton, wrote publicly on his Google+ profile. …

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