As you may remember from last week, Google announced a (rather large) change to their privacy policies and if you are a Google user you have probably noticed that they have tried to make you aware of the changes with arrows pointing to it and by redirecting you to their policy page once.
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a suit in the Washington D.C. district court claiming that the upcoming privacy changes – which are planned to take effect March 1st – will cause “irreparable injury to EPIC and the public.” EPIC claims that the change violates a settlement agreement that Google and the FTC reached last march forbidding any privacy changes without consent from the user. EPIC wants the court to issue a temporary restraining order on Google, they also ask for a preliminary injunction compelling the FTC to enforce the settlement agreement from March last year.
EPIC believes that Google misrepresented their large benefits from these policy changes when announcing them last week. They believe that by unifying user data across Google’s many platforms (search engine, Google+, Gmail, etc.) Google’s advertisers would gain a large boost in their targeting and therefore their advertising success rates. Apparently, the aggregated data would allow for more accurate, targeted advertising. Google replied with the standard fare of, “Protecting people’s privacy is something we think about all day across the company and we welcome discussions about our approach.”
I’m not sure if it’s such a bad thing to be shown ads on topics that you are actually interested in. If you want to browse without google collecting your data, just do it in your browsers “invisible mode” (Incognito, InPrivate, Private Browsing) or log out of your google account while watching the shady websites you like to open late at night.