The new policy unifies 60 privacy policies, and applies to all Google services. “With a single log in, Google will have details of what applications I access at any given time and place including details of my posts either on the social sharing service Google+ or content of my Gmail,” Iyer said.
The new policy has even worried privacy advocates. One US report stated that a leading lawmaker on privacy issues said he would ask for a probe into whether recently announced changes in how Google handles consumer data violated an agreement it made with the US Federal Trade Commission.
In Dubai, Anthony Stilgoe, IT manager in an educational institute, told Gulf News that people are upset because the information a user shares through one service is no longer respective to that service. “Many aren’t happy about information being shared across Google services.” The plus side he explained was that Google will better understand a user’s preferences. “Google can suggest tailor search results based on a user’s separate activity on video-sharing website YouTube or email service Gmail.
If you search for an Audi A6’ in Google search, it will automatically prompt the model number if you search for an Audi in YouTube. The same cross-referencing will apply in Google Maps or any other Google services.
Gulf News spoke to Maha Abouelenein, Head of Communications — MENA for Global Communications and Public Affairs at Google. She said: “We have integrated our different products more closely. The new policy reflects our efforts to create one beautifully simple, intuitive user experience where we can treat you as a single user across all our products.”
To explain how this new policy will affect users, Maha said, “When creating an entry in Calendar, users may expect our auto-suggest feature to suggest names from Gmail for people to invite to your event. Another example is how you can share driving directions with your Google+ circles without leaving Google Maps.” Asked whether the new policy will make it harder for Google users to remain anonymous, Maha replied: “Our commitment to protecting user privacy and to data liberation aren’t changing.”
Saudi Arabia has the largest number of search queries per day followed by Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and the UAE — who together represent 70 percent of all searches in the Mena region. Since local map domains were launched in the Mena region in 2011, there has been 50 percent growth in usage. Google Maps usage grew at a phenomenal rate of 180 percent in Egypt.
Google Chrome is the leading browser in Tunisia, Libya, and Jordan and the second most popular browser in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Algeria and Morocco.
New user experience
Maha Abouelenein, Head of Communications — MENA for Global Communications and Public Affairs at Google, said the new policy will enable Google to treat its users as a single user across all products. The new policy has worried privacy advocates. One US report stated that a lawmaker said he would ask for a probe into whether changes violated a US trade agreement.
Courtesy: Maha Abouelenein
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