back to article Google rolls out privacy policy, snubs Euro outcry

Google has defended its decision to combine around 60 of its privacy policies into one simplified document that makes it clear that users of the company's products and services will be more uniformly tracked by the Chocolate Factory. The search giant debuted its revised terms of service today, after announcing in late January …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps i'm not gettin it.

    But what's so bad about simplified and unified privacy policy that applies to ALL Google services.

    Surely that's GOOD for consumers? Nothing worse that disparate and complicated policies.

    I really wish I didn't have the eurocrat idiots pretending to represent me...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perhaps i'm not gettin it.

      It's none of their business what I do on the internet. That clear enough?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perhaps i'm not gettin it.

      You are indeed not getting it. With the new T&Cs, Google basically tells the planet that laws are irrelevant, it is just too big to comply. Well, I'm sure that will help with the various ongoing investigations. What pisses me off is not just the continued deception, but also the backdooring of laws - they know full well that they are breaking them.

      Personally, I've had enough so I hope that both privacy regulators and the monopoly commission screw them over something rotten.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Perhaps i'm not gettin it.

        On the plus side, it's a good early warning that now is the time to start finding alternative solutions and disassociating yourself from Google products.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: Perhaps i'm not gettin it.

          No, you're not getting it. Not only for the reasons explained by other above but also because Google's new privacy policy has very worrying clauses such as:

          "We may use the name you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services. [...]

          If other users already have your email, or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Google Profile information, such as your name and photo."

          I don't want Google showing my profile information - combined and filled in automatically from simply using their services - to just about anyone who has my e-mail address.

        2. Anonymous Coward


          And how does not using Google's products help you here?

          It amazes me how a lot of people don't realize how deep this actually goes. So you visit El Reg like I do, seems we share a good taste ;-) You /do/ realize that El Reg uses 'Google Analytics'? In short: a Javascript program gets started on /your/ browser, your browser then transmit some data to Google (data regarding the page visit, but also data regarding your browser and version and such) after which Google presents this data to the owner of the website.

          But the whole new approach also opens up the door for them to utilize this data in other means.

          Any idea how many websites use Google analytics because "its so easy to setup" ?

          And that's not even mentioning some of the (IMO) cooler tech sites. Most of them have setup some pretty fancy navigation or counters or voting system or... In many cases powered by none other than And there we go again; the data which is coming in through those channels can now also be utilized.

          So bottom line; switching to Bing (or whatever other search engine) in favor over Google is futile. Because no matter the search engine you will eventually still end up on those websites using Google stuff again.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @moiety

            I'm not convinced that El Reg does use Google Analytics, as Ghostery screens it out and pops up what's being nullified as the page loads. And there is no GA tag when El Reg fires up. AFAIK, I'm not transmitting anything at all to Google; by dint of a little effort.

            And yeah, some of the web (in particular the bits that use GoogleAPI) are broken; but in nearly all cases it's something I can do without.

            That's what Google does is their job to try and track me and serve up adverts; and it's my job to stymie them to the limits of my ability and to not buy stuff from the adverts (and other spam) that does get through.

            What I find more sinister, though, is the increasingly prevalent use of Google Stuff for business and (more terrifying) government. A foreign business controls your access to your own data. Try as I might, I can't see any possible way that this can be a good idea in the long-term.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perhaps i'm not gettin it.

      OK, figured out I am perhaps one of the few people that DO get it, many here are too stupid to understand the impact of the changes.

      Perhaps have a read of this, it's the last fanboy drivel I have read (which is stunning considering it's CNET, usually the worlds biggest online drivel writers)

      Number one is the key point here.

      Google isn't collecting more information, just using it differently.

      The big misconception here is that Google will suddenly gain access to a host of information it didn't have before. That's incorrect. The reality is that the search giant has always collected your usage data for all of its services like Google+, Gmail, Youtube, and so on; however, until now, it has stored that data separately.

      Today, Google is combining the data it has collected to create a more robust profile about you. The company is touting it as a positive change that will give you a better overall Google experience and make its privacy policy easier to understand.

      For example, if you e-mail your mother to tell her about the new puppies you adopted, the suggested videos you see the next time you visit YouTube may be about cute puppies. Previously, Google could not manipulate data in this manner.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    Related news.

    This is interesting.

    The last two paras had my eyes on stalks and my irony-o-meter blew a fuse!

    1. Jim Coleman

      Re: Related news.

      @Teecee: Oh, really? He made a decent choice.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sorry for going off-topic, but who did you have to shag at El Reg to get links into your comments?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Try here. Shagging is optional, I believe.

  3. Rodrigo Valenzuela

    "Nevertheless Google has implemented the tweaks and defended the move by saying that halting it at this stage would "confuse" the firm's userbase."

    No, not confusing at all. A simple text saying something along the lines of: "We can't implement our new policies on Europe until they adhere to EC law".

    Of course, that would make the users think that Google may not be the technological knight-in-shiny-armor they pretend to be, so this is just wishful thinking.


  4. Anonymous Coward

    so just to be clear

    The EU and US are currently looking at laws to take websites offline forcibly over copyright infringement without legal intervention (SOPA), yet when google stick two fingers up at them, they can't just block google from europe at a DNS level (or similar technological block).

    I have very little time for bureaucrats anyway, but the way they act like the law / bully when it comes to the little guy and roll over for the big companies is just a slap in the face.

    Its not like google are being fair and square with our governments over tax etc.

    Just what wonderful thing is google doing that means the EU can be ignored when they clearly get shafted. Com'on EU grow a pair and slap google with something that hurts and quick.

    1. Mark 65

      Re: so just to be clear

      Why block them when you can fine the shit out of them?

  5. Gil Grissum


    Well, you can always associate yourself with Facebook if Google's consolidation of information services, i.e. privacy policy, makes you nervous. Facebook already has your information consolidated across their games, apps, and services. Feel better now?

    From an information management stand point, Google already has your information if you use multiple services of there's. Rather than have that same information separated across the services, you log in once and use all the services without having to log in again and again and again. It's not changing how they collect information or how they use it to blast advertising at you. It's consolidating the information so you don't have to log into every single Google service to use them. Separating the services and your info and causing you to have to log into everything separately is good, why?

  6. Turtle


    "Nevertheless Google has implemented the tweaks and defended the move by saying that halting it at this stage would "confuse" the firm's userbase."

    The "confusion" here is Google's, if they think that they can hold themselves above the law forever.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other alternatives

    In case people hadn't noticed there are other search engines that don't track you, and they're not hard to find. Also there are other ways of handling email than gmail and you can look at youtube without logging in to an account. I have been suspicious of Google for a long time, not paranoia, just common sense.

  8. Barrie Shepherd
    Big Brother

    Bad Boy's

    So Google are the new bad boys because they tried to clear up a mess with another "mess".

    I don't have a direct financial arrangement with Google so as an end user I'm not directly impacted by the alleged "Anti Trust" nature of their operation - I'd just prefer that they did not harvest user data for whatever they do with it - but then they could not run their business and would have to start charging for their services. 10 Euro a search?

    I'd be more impressed with the EU mandarins if they addressed the stupid situation with patents and the "Bad Boy" tactics of those manufacturers who actually take money from us, while collecting information about what we do with our computing devices and control what we are allowed to download and install on them.

    BTW - I'm still a conspiracy theorist - the Google data collection is on behalf of the CIA/FBI/Homeland Security who I'm sure all have direct access to it. I can't see the US government allowing the establishment of what is probably the worlds largest database/computing system unless they had some access/control. (don't forget ANY of your financial data that goes anywhere near a US server belongs to the US.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bad Boy's

      Searches will never cost 10 Euros, what a silly example. They cost less than a cent to Google and it's something they can easily afford it by running regular ads that don't depend on having your full profile at hand.

      Of course it helps if Google really focuses on products they're actually good at and not waste millions on products no one really wants - only to give up on those a few months later. Just this week they are shutting down three more.

      They also have far too many loss leaders and should hedge their bets better. A supposedly IT services company where 96-98% of revenue comes from advertising is not really sustainable, the level of evilness will have keep going up.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So how do you opt out?


    Suppose you don't want google to track you.

    They say you can opt out.


    Not an easy thing and that's part of the problem.

    Also countries like France, Germany or the UK can fine Google for non compliance.


    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: So how do you opt out?

      Errm, don't use any of their free services??? Or did you mean you want to take everything they give, but offer nothing back in return? Typical freetard...

      It does mean you will have to give up the following free stuff:

      Google Maps


      Google Search

      Google news




      Google Plus

      Google Docs

      Google Reader

      Google Music

      Google Books

      Feed Burner


      Google Calender


      Google Alerts


      Google Earth

      There is probably more, but those are the free things they give up, for what? Some info so we get targetted ads rather than untargetted ones????

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: So how do you opt out?

        What about all the ads, Google Analytics / WebTrends scripts used by many sites and +1 buttons Google has all over the web?

        It's nearly impossible to escape from Google's tracking.

        1. handle handle
          Big Brother

          Re: Re: Re: So how do you opt out?

          Set up your own DNS server, and make it authoritative for domains like,,,,, ... Heck, you might even be able to sell subscriptions to other folks who want to keep their kit from connecting with these bums.

        2. Anonymous Coward


          Nice Firefox add-on which inter alia blocks Google Analytics. Sadly they've announced a few weeks ago that they're stopping developing it, but the code remains GPL (given that OptimizeGoogle itself grew out of CustomizeGoogle, surely someone will grow something out of OptimizeGoogle. BastardizeGoogle, perhaps?)

          Many other addons which do similar things to varying degrees.

          Don't know if something similar exists for Chrome, but it would be a nice irony.

          (PS: Anyone using IE deserves all they get - an IE user worried about Google Analytics is like a man with gangrene worried about a zit.)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about

    someone asks Google what info they hold on them? An information request? Surely Google should be able to provide something along those lines? And no, I don't use any of Google's stuff. I used to but no more.

    @ Barrie Shepherd - yes you have a very good point there. All that info in one place, which could be combined with all the info Facebook has on someone. A spooks dream come true...

    Anon, well just in case...

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