Google proudly announced in an email to all of it’s users, “We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across [the company] and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read.”

The change in Google’s privacy policies will go live March 1. The multinational corporation extols its streamlined privacy guidelines as an improvement. In actuality, the reduction from 60 policies to one transparently exhibits Google’s fading loyalty to its consumers.

Starting in March, Google will openly access consumers’ personal information, web history and email correspondents. Google is peddling these changes as an enhancement to the Google experience, advertising that their services will now be “tailored for you.” While users are signed into any Google accounts (Gmail, GooglePlus or YouTube), Google will collect information on their Internet activities. The benefits the company trumpets are that search results will be customized to users and recommendations will make navigating the Internet effortless.

Maybe one day, I’ll regard the personalized web experience as convenient when Google suggests I email my sisters about the Preen dress I mark as a favorite on Shopbop or when YouTube remembers that I like an Andrew Bird song with Bon Iver. But for now, I find the collection and maintence of large amounts of personal information by a large corporation like Google highly disturbing.

For our generation, the limits and norms of privacy have been reworked and redefined as often as the Facebook interface. Social media is constantly blurring the barrier between what we consider private and what we consider public. Technically, Facebook owns everything that we ever post, like or send even in a “private” message.

With Google, there is no hiding. Your browser history is saved forever. This information will be analyzed and manipulated by statisticians then used to synchronize your email topics with search queries and more.

Cookies, tracking devices that identify the volume and specifics of user access to a server, are already at work on Amazon, eBay and countless other websites. But there’s a fine line between benign data collection and invasion of personal privacy. This semester, I ordered only two of the three books I needed for my Latin American history class. Luckily, Amazon picked up on the oversight and sent me an email recommending the third book. I was grateful to have the reminder. But Google’s desire to collect all of my Internet activity, not limited to one website or sector, clearly crosses the line.

Since Google powers Hoyamail, the changes in their privacy policies may have major implications for Georgetown network users. Students, faculty and staff who have linked their Gmail accounts with their Hoyamail accounts will undoubtedly be subject to the new policies. Customers have the option of moving all their information from Google (before March 1) and opting out of these new privacy invasions.

This troublesome change does not come unexpected. In 2010, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt acknowledged Google’s approach to its users’ privacy. He explained that Google saved user history for about a year and on multiple occasions presented user data as incriminating evidence in courts of law. He cautioned clients about the important of privacy and stated, “What we learn from this is that privacy is more important, not less important. … Privacy needs to be seen as more important than we’re treating it today only.”

A higher priority must be placed on privacy. As for me, I am not sure if the opportunity cost in inconvenience of removing all of my information from Google (as well as changing my email address) is worth avoiding the new policy. Are such policies the future of all email and social media providers? We must wait and see.

Sophia Berhie is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. CARDAMOM, SPICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS appears every other Tuesday.

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