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The actions and decisions of Google can potentially affect many information security teams in organizations across the globe.  With that thought in mind, a recent announcement by Google to alter its privacy policy and terms of service to reflect the fact that it is now going to combine data from its various services into a single user profile may well be an event that requires close study, review and evaluation regarding an organization’s own existing privacy policy – i.e. particularly where services such as Google are involved.

It goes without saying that this privacy change by Google needs to also be closely reviewed where individual use of Google is employed as well.

In a recent article written by Thomas Claburn, Claburn is quick to point out that critics of the change have been quick to question Google’s decision.

This article also references Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) who said in a reaction blog posting that he’s troubled by the lack of an opt-out mechanism, and, David Jacobs, consumer protection fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), expressed concerns that Google’s changes decrease the ability of users to control how their personal information is being used.

Click here to read Claburn’s full article, and, be sure to utilize the useful links in that article to dig more deeply into the reference documents and related postings to this potential privacy risks.

Additional stories about this controversial decision by Google are also listed below:

Google Says Privacy Change Won’t Affect Government Users” by Jaikumar Vijayan

Google Stirs Up Privacy Hornet’s Nest” by Sharon Gaudin

Google Privacy Policy: Who Will be Affected and How You Can Choose What Information Gets Shared” by Cecilia Kang

Google Seeks to Clarify New Privacy Policy” by Doug Gross

Lawmakers Press Google on Privacy Policy Changes” (Reuters)

If applicable, please pass this information along to those information security and risk management team members in your organization, those members of privacy rights protection groups in your community and to members of your family who use Google on a daily basis.

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