Google’s newly announced changes to its privacy policy illustrate two essential facts of life:

1) Internet privacy is fading away like the Cheshire Cat, leaving only a big smile (not yours) behind.

2) Google’s got you by the short hairs.

From NPR’s blog, The Two-Way:

Yesterday afternoon Google announced it was making sweeping changes to its privacy policy beginning March 1. Users can’t opt out, so Google is beginning to send notice to its users via email and even on its homepage.

The big change is that Google will now track you across its services. In other words, Google will now, for example, be able to pair information it collects on its email service with information it collects on its search service to really target its advertising. In a blog post explaining the changes, Google says it will make the experience across its suite of products “more intuitive.”

Google’s sounding more like Mark (Datasucka) Zuckerberg every day.

Of course the predictable “Don’t Be Evil” chant has emerged in all its full-throated plaintiveness, but the corn is off the cob on this one, folks. In addition to the above-mentioned Google blog post, the tech behemoth is trying to soften the blow with cutesey newspaper ads that feature lots of non-threatening cartoon illustrations, such as this one:

Or this one:

Not many are saying thanks to Google right now, but believe me, Google’s saying it plenty about you.

John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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