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Duck Google's data grab

Over the summer, Google changed its privacy policy to allow it, with user permission, to associate data from Google services and its Chrome browser with the data it uses to target online ads.

As ProPublica noted on Friday, Google in its June 28, 2016 privacy policy replaced a commitment to "not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent" with something less definitive. "Depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google’s services and the ads delivered by Google," Google's Privacy Policy now reads.

Google insists there's nothing to see here. "It's completely opt-in, if people don't choose this new system, their Google experience doesn't change," a Google spokesperson said in an email.

When Facebook did something similar, it required users to opt-out.

For those surprised to find they've somehow opted-in without meaning to, visiting the Google Account Activity Controls page provides a checkbox to disable the mingling of Chrome browsing with other Google services and the means to delete such data entirely.

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