Google improves user privacy settings

San Francisco, California – Google has announced that starting Monday, a new privacy issue website will be introduced answering frequently asked questions.

The search engine giant collects and uses mass amounts of user data, but until now, users have only been able to control certain privacy settings. Many people find managing the controls confusing and time consuming because the settings are in different places across the web and are not always easy to find.

Now, however, users will be able to log onto My Account, where they are taken directly to their account setting for easy security checkup. There, users can also select which data they want to have public and which they want kept private.

Google’s new website answers their most frequently asked questions such as if Google sells a user’s personal data and what type of information is provided to advertisers.

“We knew that users find privacy and security really mysterious so we wanted to make it very approachable,” said Guemmy Kim, product manager for account controls and settings.

Since more day-to-day activity takes place on line, data control continues to be increasingly important. Even more so when, in 2013, Edward Snowden leaked documents showing how the U.S. National Security Agency was collecting phone records and placing large companies that have large masses of data – such as Facebook, Google, Apple – under increasing scrutiny.

A recent Pew survey showed that only 9 percent of people felt that had a “lot” of control over their data.

The new website has been released at the same time as a new Android app, which Google has announced, mirrors the app permissions on Apple’s iPhones, which do not automatically allow apps to access certain types of data such as phone contacts or location.

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