In accordance with a new EU law ‘The Digital Markets Act
(DMA),’ that is going into effect starting March 6, Google is allowing its
users in Europe to control exactly how much of their data they agree to being shared.
In other words, users will be able to opt out of data sharing across all, some,
or none of a select number of Google’s services as they prefer.
The selected services are: YouTube, Google Search, Google’s ad
services, Google Play, Chrome, Google Shopping, and Google Maps. “When linked,
these services can share your data with each other and with all other Google
services for certain purposes. For example, linked Google services can work
together to help personalize your content and ads, depending on your settings,”
Regardless of this policy, however, Google will still share user data when it is an important part of a task - such as when paying for a purchase on Google Shopping with Google Pay. This requirement is essential in terms of compliance with law, and protection against fraud and abuse.
In addition to this change as a result of the DMA, Google
will be required to comply with rules around interoperability and competition
as well. For instance, Google will not be able to give more favour to its own
services in Search’s ranking in comparison to other third-party services.
While the new data-sharing policy going will give EU users greater freedom in protecting their data, it does have a downside to it too. Opting out off data-sharing would mean unlinking accounts on Search, YouTube, Maps, and Chrome, which would no longer provide users with a personalised experience across these services. Ultimately, it could be a tough decision to choose between privacy and convenience.