Google has some great services, and it’s search capabilities are top notch. They’ve got lots of great ideas in the pipe that are proving to be useful for individuals, as well as helping small businesses compete with the big guys.

The price for these services is free. However, the price is not nothing – Google collects information of anyone using their services under the guise of a desire to build a better mousetrap. The Google privacy policy states in part:

“Google only processes personal information for the purposes described in the applicable Privacy Policy and/or privacy notice for specific services. In addition to the above, such purposes include:

  • Providing our products and services to users, including the display of customized content and advertising;
  • Auditing, research and analysis in order to maintain, protect and improve our services;
  • Ensuring the technical functioning of our network; and
  • Developing new services.”

and more ominously:

“Google processes personal information on our servers in the United States of America and in other countries. In some cases, we process personal information on a server outside your own country. We may process personal information to provide our own services. In some cases, we may process personal information on behalf of and according to the instructions of a third party, such as our advertising partners.”

Google keeps logs on all activity, promising only to use collected information in accordance with its privacy policy.
So, where does that leave you, the user?

You log in, check your gmail.  Surf over to your online Google apps, open a spreadsheet to work on business items.  Go to Google Search to do some research.  What does Google now know about you?

Are you concerned yet?  You should be.

 

cs

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