Google has quietly updated its privacy settings, saying it’s changing its policy to remove a feature which Google says is designed to improve the privacy of its users.
The change is effective tomorrow.
The news comes as a number of major web services including Google, Facebook and Yahoo have come under fire for their privacy policies, which often restrict what users can do with data they gather from the web.
Google says that in order to allow users to access content they’ve requested, they must provide a means for a third party to contact them and request information about the user’s account.
Google says the privacy settings change applies to both third-party services and Google services, and that “this change is primarily designed to enhance the privacy practices of the services to improve their privacy”.
This means that, when users make requests, Google will no longer be able to automatically add this feature to the privacy options for third-parties, it says.
Users will also be able no longer make requests that restrict how they can use certain data.
Privacy issues in the wake of Google’s data collection Google says it has removed the “permissions” feature that lets third- parties access user data on the Google homepage.
The changes are due to Google’s “permission” policy, which says users can request certain data only if they’ve explicitly given permission.
“Permission to use, share, disclose, and disclose the content and information we collect is subject to the following conditions: Google may not use the data for any other purpose,” Google says.
It says users who have requested data that was not explicitly given to them can ask for it to be removed.
Google adds that the privacy changes apply only to Google services and that the feature “is currently not available for any third- party service”.
“The privacy settings that Google has changed will apply to Google products and services, including Google search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Play,” Google adds.
Users can also request that their Google search history be kept private.
The changes are being made at a time when many web services have been hit by a string of privacy scandals and lawsuits.
Facebook has been sued for data collection by the US government, Google and others, while Yahoo was forced to shut down its email service due to its data collection practices.