Google has changed its privacy statement to build better user profiles -- but like Facebook, it now raises privacy concerns.
Over the years, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has done quite well with its acquisitions. YouTube was a key deal, and so was the transaction for Android.
But Google has experienced one problem — user data often is scattered across its properties. As a result, it’s more difficult to target advertising to the user base (at least to the extent of Facebook).
So in the latest Google privacy statement release — which will go into effect March 1 — profile information will be centralized. And while it might enhance the user experience, there’s some concern.
For example, might Google be stretching the boundaries of privacy too far? Well, the answer probably is “yes.” However, as we have seen with services like Facebook, users often are willing to tolerate intrusions in exchange for the overriding services. (Hey, just check out some of the pictures of your friends!)
Of course, the real problem for Google might be its launch of Search Plus Your World. It includes content from the Google+ social network in the Google search results. However, the issue is its exclusion of Facebook and Twitter.
This might be an abuse of market power from Google, which has a lock on the search market. If so, it could prove to be damaging to the company’s long-term prospects. As seen with other antitrust cases throughout history — such as with AT&T (NYSE:T), IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) — the federal government might impose onerous restrictions, which could make it tough to compete.