Ever since Google announced impending changes to their privacy policy, controversy has been flying about the perceived “threat” to personal data.

The Google Privacy Policy Change – What Does it Mean?

The change to the Google Privacy policy essentially means that login data gleaned from “cookies” created when logging into Google’s products (including Gmail, Google Analytics, Blogger, YouTube and Panoramio) will be shared across all Google platforms, essentially tailoring personal search results for individuals, and allowing a single login to allow access to your accounts across Google.

Viviane Reding, Vice-President at the European Commission and European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, was quoted today say that “transparency rules have not been applied” by Google (BBC News and Digital Trends are just two sites referring to her statement.

Google has stated more than once that it believes the new policy complies with European law, and have pledged to implement the changes regardless or Reding’s statement.

Now, call me “devil’s advocate” if you wish, but it was always my belief that Google shared data across it’s platforms from time-to-time. I initially suspected this when I logged into my Gmail account, and could switch to Analytics, YouTube and Panoramio without having to log back in. As I set up more set up more accounts, Google spotted this and would automatically link my accounts, noticeably when I joined Google+ last year and my existing Google profiles were automatically listed on my profile.

Now, I don’t see this as a bad thing. Sharing my login details saves me time, allows followers to find me easily, and just makes things more convenient. And, since I always share the same details when joining websites, I’m hardly worried about my details being used by Google. Yes, I’d be unhappy if Google entered a partnership with another company and shared my details, but this is surely covered by Data Protection Acts in the EU and beyond?

Many of us will have accounts on many websites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al, but do we consider that, unless we use pseudonyms to hide our true identity, people such as spammers, stalkers and some of the more annoying web users who are out there can all find us if they want to. I’ve had spammers on my personal blog, and earlier today someone sent me a less than welcome photo direct to my personal e-mail, presumably by making an educated guess as to what my e-mail might be.

My personal opinion is that the New Privacy Policy is hardly an issue on the scale of the backlash I’ve seen on the web. I’d even argue that the perceived or theorized risks to our personal details are unlikely to transpire on the scale that some believe.