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    Google's new data-sharing privacy policy comes under scrutiny

    Google's new data-sharing privacy policy comes under scrutiny

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    Google's new simplified privacy policy that allows data-sharing across all the company's services has come under fire from Congress and the public. The government wants to know if users can opt out, and if teenagers and children will receive special protection. The search giant has responded with various statements.

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    The government seems to be on high-alert regarding Google's privacy practices. The company only just announced its new simplified privacy policy on sharing your data across all its services, and lawmakers have responded with a long list of questions. In a letter to Larry Page, eight members of Congress asked if users will be able to opt-out of the new data sharing policy, and how they can easily exercise such an option if it exists at all. The letter also asks if teenagers and children will receive special privacy protection, followed by numerous inquiries about collection, sharing, archiving, and ensuring the security of gathered information.

    Google has until February 16, 2012 to deliver a satisfactory response to Congress, but it's already addressing concerns about some changes through its Public Policy Blog. The post clarifies that Google has already been using data to improve the user experience for a long time, and the new policy simply makes that clear. "We're not collecting more data about you," the company said, adding that you still have the option to turn off chat and search history, "go incognito," or tailor ads to your interest.

    There have also been fears that sensitive government and enterprise data would be put at risk under the new system. However, in a statement to The Next Web, Google said that the new privacy policy doesn't change how it handles enterprise and government data. Management of that information is controlled by "contractual agreements, which have always superseded Google's privacy policy."

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