More serious than I thought: What actually changed in Google’s Privacy Policy

  1. Up until March 1, 2012, the data Google collected on you when you used YouTube was carefully cabined away from your other Google products. So, in effect, Google could use data they collected on YouTube to improve and customize the users’ YouTube experience, but couldn’t use the data to customize and improve user experience on, say, Google+.
  2. The same siloing took place for your search history. Previously, Google search data was kept separate from other products. Even when users were logged in, Google promised not to share the information they gathered about you from your Google search history when customizing their other products. Considering how uniquely sensitive user search history can be (indicating vital facts about your location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion, health concerns, and much more), this was an important privacy protection.

(Electronic Frontier Foundation, What Actually Changed in Google’s Privacy Policy)

It looks like the new Google privacy policy does make a substantial—and very detrimental—change: it took questions from Congress and this belated EFF article for me to realise the extent to which Google’s invasion of its users’ privacy has just got substantially worse. I now use Duck Duck Go, combined with the !g bang added to the search, to search Google securely and anonymously, without being tracked, even if I'm actually logged in.