SOUNDS: Cafe noises
NARRATION: Alex Ramirez sits near the door at the Hungarian Pastry Shop In Morningside Heights. Macbook open in front of him, he Googles the name of a Harvard faculty member and post-doc program he’s been researching.
RAMIREZ: Typing Larien Enghart. His webpage is the first to come up and his lab page is the second to come up.
NARRATION: Then, he drops the faculty member’s name and searches again
RAMIREZ: His name doesn’t come up. I just get admissions for Harvard and Harvard’s website. Yeah, not focused enough.
NARRATION: Bottom line for Ramirez: Google searching hasn’t changed. In fact, he hasn’t even read the new policy.
RAMIREZ: I’ve been lazy and its something I want to read and should be concerned about.
NARRATION: There’s plenty of concern among Internet privacy advocates. The new policy will allow Google to consolidate account information for every Google, Youtube, Gmail, Android or user of any of the company’s services, allowing the company to share data across both its Internet and phone platforms.
David Jacobs, a fellow at the Electronic Privacy information Center says Google is not collecting new information, but they change will allow it to compile the largest caches of personal information of held by any private company in the world.
JACOBS: Google collecting all this information provides a lot more info and more detailed profile than if another company that only does email and one other service tried to combine it together.
Larry Magid, a freelance tech journalist for CBS and Forbes blogger, says Google is not the only company that collects our information. Credit card companies and phone carriers have been collecting our information for decades.
MAGID: It’s one of many examples of how we given up our anonymity in exchange for various technological wonders.
NARRATION: Magid whose non-profit Connect Safely has received grant funding from Google, dedicated several recent blog posts to alerting users how they can hide information from Google which includes deleting your Google history, not logging into Google, and clearing data from your web browser.
Jason Slotkin. Columbia Radio News.