Google privacy change sparks heavy debate
In a blog post Google said the policy would make search ads better and more targeted, by figuring out what a user really intends to know.
But already the new document has sparked debate about consumer privacy and how advertisers use this data.
Thomas Crampton, Asia Pacific director of Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence, argues it is not up to marketers not break the "social contract" they have with consumers to avoid a backlash over personal information.
"The policy proposed by Google would have undergone vigorous scrutiny and will have taken steps to ensure it doesn't undermine relations with its clients and users," he said.
He added that the consolidation of the policies will provide a unified way to counter Facebook with its ability to target specific users, but said Google would have to be wary not to generate the consumer perception that it was abusing the data.
Some, however, say the new policy will significantly alter existing working practices, adding that the information gathered as a result can now be cross-referenced to individuals in an organisation and, as such, become a valuable intelligence source.
"Advertisers, especially those on major brands, now need to consider more sophisticated and secure analytics platforms," Win Mak, managing director at Hong Kong digital agency Designercity, said. "The free lunch is over."
Under the new policy direction, Google said it may collect information about the services that users use and how you they them, "like when you visit a website that uses our advertising services or you view and interact with our ads and content."
Some of this information includes specific details such as hardware model of telephones, operating system version, mobile network information (including phone number), details about search queries, IP addresses, users' phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and information about users location.
The new policy comes as the European Commission has proposed changes to the EU data protection rules to give more transparency and control over personal data to users.
This means companies such as Facebook and Google would have to seek consent before collecting personal data, explain how it'll be used and give users the power to opt out completely.
Companies that fail to complain could be subject to fines up to US$1.6 million.
With the announcement the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) have voiced their concern about the reform and the possible crippling effects it would have on digital ad revenue.
"Proposals for data protection must protect people's legitimate rights to privacy while also enabling business opportunities. These proposals have failed to achieve that balance," Stephan Loerke, managing director of WFA, said.
The WFA also stated that the new rules would hinder long-term innovation, competitiveness and growth of the digital advertising industry in Europe.
With additional reporting from Alethia Tiang
Follow @MarketingEds on Twitter for breaking news throughout the day.
Google Related Stories:
- Locals proud of home-grown companies
- Amazon launches app store for China
- Google dedicates site for Philippine elections
- Google backs female entrepreneurs
- Muslim Pro goes from app to web
- Volunteers update Google Maps for elections
- Bizarre HR: Google’s $100 million man
- Whatsapp becomes new target in tech wars
- Google Trends: The iPhone vs Samsung
- Prepping for election day
- Google Chrome goes nuts
- Android tablets tipped to outsell iPads
- Google opens e-learning channel for students
- The changing face of recruitment
- Google local, ifva global?
- Google finds a plus with A-Pop week
- Google Philippines head talks about local office
- Google pushes glasses in online contest
- Google Indoor Maps: Will it work?
- Google pushes the power of digital