The company went ahead despite concerns from European regulators who asked Google to put the changes on hold. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said in a radio interview today that the policy changes are “not in accordance with the European law and that the transparency rules have not been applied.”
In a new blog post, the company reiterates that user controls aren’t changing — you’ll still be able to clear your search history, for example — and says it’s making the changes with an eye toward improving its services.
She writes, “While we’ve undertaken the most extensive user education campaign in our history to explain the coming changes, we know there has been a fair amount of chatter and confusion.”
Most of the concerns about the policy changes revolve around the potential to use the data in the process of delivering ads.
In the United States, a settlement between Google and the FTC requires the company “to obtain users’ consent before sharing their information with third parties if Google changes its products or services in a way that results in information sharing that is contrary to any privacy promises made when the user’s information was collected.”
That raises the question of what should qualify as a third-party, as noted by digital media instructor and consultant Kathy Gill in a guest post on GeekWire last week. YouTube, for example, is owned by Google but is on a separate domain.
Here’s the dashboard where you can see and control the data Google collects about you.