Google's new privacy policy takes effect March 1 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Google's new privacy policy takes effect March 1

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AMARILLO, Texas---Many people are worried their personal information will be more open to hackers after Google rolled out its new privacy policy March 1.

Technology experts say it's virtually impossible to lock out companies from obtaining things like the web sites you visit or who you shop with.

Now, that information will be more accessible than ever.

Many of you wanted to know whether this is a cause for concern, so we took your questions to a web developer and computer expert here in Amarillo to get their input.

"Really there's nothing you can do when using Google's products except not give Google any of your information," says Julie Korinek with Cat Man Du.

However, it's just not that simple.

In order to use services like Gmail and YouTube, you're required to enter data such as addresses and telephone numbers.

Before, your information was contained to that particular web site or program.

That is no longer the case.

"Google is going to treat each user with multiple accounts as one big trove of data," Korinek said.

In a nutshell, information you have on Gmail will be shared with Google Plus or YouTube and vice versa.

It's an interlaced network so to speak, giving the company access to track your every move online.

"Google has clearly specified they're not planning on selling any of your private information or what you're searching," web developer Josh Knapp explained. "They're only using the information so they can sell advertising."

Korinek says several people don't agree with Google's plan.

Attorney General's from across the nation are also upset.

"We want to know what exactly they are doing with this information and how they are storing it," Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said. "We want to know if it's safe and if people are protected from identity theft."

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley agrees.

"When somebody can get that personal information or a code to log in, now they have access to all your information," she said.

There are ways to limit the amount of information you share with Google.

One way is to delete your web history.

"You can delete your web history but more importantly, delete your cookies because that's how they'll track each individuals account," Knapp said.

Both web history and cookies can be deleted by visiting the "options" or "tools" tab on your web browser.

Another safety precaution is to always remember to log out of any account you are not using.

Whenever you stay logged in on sites like YouTube or Gmail, data is constantly being collected and sent back to the company for analysis.