Since June 2016, Google prompted or requested account owners to opt in to a new policy. Google did this in a manner that no one really noticed until after a few months later. Many users were unaware that they were in fact agreeing to opt-in and share more data. According to The Guardian, Google highlighted the new feature of being able to view and manage ad tracking. They along with the media did not give that much attention to the fact that the company now has access to pieces of information that users may not want to divulge.
As expected, a lot of people are concerned about the risks of this move.
Google bought DoubleClick in 2007 for $3.1 billion. At the time, the company stated that they would prioritize the privacy of its account holders. According to an article, after they purchased the online advertising network, Google separated personal data of users gathered from Gmail and other Google accounts. In doing so, they prevented the personal info from being included in their database and grouped with their web browsing data.
DoubleClick allows Google to gather and store data about their users through their browsing history. They do so using cookies. Once the system analyzes the data, Google users will be introduced to advertisements that are connected to the data.
Google insists that the June update in their My Account settings were aimed for users to have easier control of their ad preferences. For the tech companies, tracking such data allows them to send targeted ads.
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