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Google tries to allay fears over new privacy policy

updated 12:20 am EST, Fri January 27, 2012

Search giant claims changes are for simplicity

Google policy manager Betsy Masiello has issued a statement downplaying the company's recent privacy policy changes. She argues that the search company is not collecting more data about user activities, and the new terms merely clarify that the existing data is used to improve the Google experience.

"We're making things simpler and we're trying to be upfront about it. Period," Masiello says. "You still have choice and control. You don't need to log in to use many of our services, including Search, Maps and YouTube."

For users who are logged into the company's various services, they will still have access to privacy controls over search history, "off the record" Gmail chat, and Incognito mode in Chrome, among others.

"You can use as much or as little of Google as you want. For example, you can have a Google Account and choose to use Gmail, but not use Google+," Masiello added. "Or you could keep your data separate with different accounts -- for example, one for YouTube and another for Gmail."

Despite the comments from Google's leadership, the company is facing an inquiry from members of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee. The group sent the search giant a letter demanding answers to questions surrounding the policy changes, which are set to officially switch on March 1.

by MacNN Staff





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