updated 01:00 pm EST, Tue January 31, 2012
Google issues letter to clear up confusion
Google, in response to concerns about its recent changes in privacy policies, has now made it clear that it's leaving its privacy controls intact. The company has released a letter (pdf) that aims to alleviate the concerns. The company simply folded over 60 privacy policies that are specific to its products into a single, main policy, curring down on the word count by 85 percent.
The letter stresses that Google isn't selling the information it collects on users, continues to keep the private information private and perform the usual tasks such as watching YouTube videos, accessing Google Maps and other tasks without signing into a Google account. It's also not collecting any new information about users, the search giant wrote.
Users can control their settings with privacy tools like Google Dashboard and Ads Preferences Manager. Closing an account is available as always, Google said.
The changes to the privacy policies are to make them simpler to understand and improve the user experience.
The steps have been taken mostly to head off US investigations that could compound Google's existing troubles with antitrust investigations in the US. Politicians were worried that Google would be more aggressively sharing data between services and tracking everything there is about a visitor with the choice being either to use the service anonymously and lose all data or else sign in and provide details about every piece of behavior on a Google page.