Survey Shows Just How Much People Hate Google’s New Privacy Policy

The public’s growing concern over Web privacy reached a tipping point when Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced in January that it would be simplifying its privacy policy and pooling data on users across its services, including YouTube and Gmail. According to a Pew survey released on Friday, search engine users disapprove of personal data being collected for search results or for targeted advertising.

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The Pew Internet & American Life survey revealed that 73 percent of respondents said they would not be OK with a search engine keeping track of their online activities in order to personalize future search results — they deemed it an invasion of privacy. Less critical were the 65 percent of users that considered it bad for a search engine to collect information on searches in order to rank future search results. Their concern stemmed from the fact that it would limit information users get online and what results would appear. Only 38 percent of respondents said they were aware of how they could limit what information about them is collected.

European and Brazilian regulators have been particularly critical of Google’s new privacy policy, and users are not pleased with their inability to opt out. Notwithstanding the public’s sentiments, Google is still the most widely used search engine. The survey has made known the public’s displeasure in the practice of pooling data, but the survey has shown no indication that users would stop using the engines that pool data. Google is the most popular search engine, according to the survey, with 83 percent of users saying they would use it most often, while Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) trailed in second with just 6 percent preferring its search engine.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Diallah Haidar at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com