Privacy Concerns? What Google Now Says It Can Do With Your Data (+Video)
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Against a backdrop of growing privacy concerns, with every week bringing revelations of data breaches at government or corporate websites, online search behemoth Google quietly updated its terms of service Monday, spelling out just how much personal data it mines as part of its normal business model.
The new language states: “Our automated systems analyze your content (including e-mails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection.”
While corporate fine-tuning to an online policy that few users read closely - indeed, most don’t read at all - would not normally be news, Google is singular, say security and legal experts. Not only is the company in the midst of contentious lawsuits over both the spirit and letter of these privacy issues, but, more important, it dominates the online search space to such an extent that what happens at Google impacts the entire cyber-landscape.
“Whatever Google does matters since it is the 800-pound gorilla online,” says attorney Jeremy Mishkin, co-chair of the litigation department at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads in Philadelphia.