New Google Search Gets Personal

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is moving to revise it privacy policies and make sure you see more of — yes, that’s right, Google. Starting March 1, the company will post results with user information from its Google+ social-networking service. A spokeswoman described the move as a “simpler, more intuitive Google experience” for users.

For Google, it means moving toward a single “terms of service” agreement for all of its products. The policy change makes it easier for the company to target groups.

Users and others may not like the move. What are the boundaries for using a customer’s information? James Steyer, chief executive officer of Common Sense Media, said, “This announcement is pretty frustrating and potentially frightening from a kids and family and teenager standpoint and an overall consumer privacy standpoint…” Agencies charged with data protection in both Ireland and France said they will make an assessment of the policy change.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is conducting an antitrust probe of Google and is not pleased with the changes. Twitter and Facebook may want to stay tuned.