Google rolls out updates to give users easier access to privacy controls
Will easier access to privacy controls cause headaches for marketers who rely on activity-related data?
Google is rolling out a redesign of Google Account to give users clearer access to their privacy controls and settings.
Jan Hannemann, product manager of Google Account, announced the updates on Google’s blog Thursday. Only Android users will see them right away; iOS and web users will see the new interface later this year.
The updates come about a month after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into full force. The European law governs the handling and management of members of the European Union (EU) and provides users with enhanced data protection rights.
The most obvious change to Google Account is the addition of horizontal navigation tabs, which surface user controls on data and personalization, security and privacy. Users now access these details on mobile through clunkier navigation. The Data & Personalization tab houses all the activity controls and ad personalization options and information.
Users should have an easier time finding settings and other account-related information with new navigation and in-account search functionality. The company has also dedicated an area of its community forum to account and privacy-related questions.
How will these changes affect marketers?
Consumers currently find themselves in a so-called “privacy paradox” where they want to protect their data but are willing to give it up if they can see a clear benefit to a personalized experience. Surfacing data controls more prominently is good for users. For advertisers, it’s worth considering that with clearer access, more users could implement tighter controls on how their data is used or clear out search history and other signals used for behavioral targeting more often, making it less effective at scale. On the flip side, when users curate their personalization data, targeting signals get better for advertisers. Facebook also overhauled how it surfaces privacy controls for users earlier this year.