Get Cozy with Google?

I’ve been online since 1995 and have rarely read online privacy policies in detail – think Facebook, Google, Ebay, etcetera.  I just check the box and click “I Agree.”

Turns out I’m not alone. Recent research suggests that the most of us skip over these policy statements. Net – they are too long, too technical or sometimes understood as a promise that security measures are in place. Behavioral economists call this type of behavior “future discounting.” It’s when we ignore potential for negative consequences in favor of an immediate payoff.

By now you probably know that Google is rolling out a new Privacy Policy that links your user information from across Google platforms. Sounds scary doesn’t it? Privacy advocates are crying foul and negative press is building – Orwell’s 1984 in 2012. Google has anticipated the negative buzz and launched an info campaign to turn things around – includes easy-to-read policy documents, video explanations, cartoon icons to humanize the story, and a folksy tonality that leads off with the line “This stuff really matters.”

To be honest, it’s working for me. I’m going to continue to use Google apps and ignore their privacy policy. And now I also get a warm, cozy feeling from how Google handles privacy. Fingers crossed their intentions are honorable…

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