Google: We Never Sell Your Private Info

Search giant Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which often comes under fire for privacy concerns, announced changes that will make it easier for users to monitor what information they are sharing. The company launched My Account, a centralized hub for security management.

“We never sell any private information to advertisers,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google SVP of Ads and Commerce, in an interview on FOX Business Network, maintaining that the data is anonymized. “You are in charge of all the information that Google has about you.”

Google users are often shown ads that reflect recent searches and emails. Through My Account, people can change their settings to control which types of ads will be shown.

Information sharing can be managed separately for Maps, Search, YouTube and other Google products. It is a “one-stop-shop for all the information we have,” said Ramaswamy.

Google also released some new data about mobile phone usage, emphasizing that people are increasingly using their smartphones for quick web searches coined as “micro-moments.

Whether they are looking to find out more information related to an in-person conversation or something they saw on TV, Google said that they are seeing a dramatic increase in people doing short web searches on their smartphones.

In the past year, Google has seen a 20% rise in the portion of online sessions coming from smartphones, a rapid shift from desktop to mobile search. This has resulted an 18% decrease in the time spent during each web visit.

“We are on our phones all the time,” said Ramaswamy.  “Consumer behavior is changing a lot,” he said, as “people are getting more things done on mobile.”

Google made a series of announcements last week at its I/O developers conference, including Android Pay, an alternative to Apple Pay (NASDAQ:AAPL). Google Photos, a new system for photo management, was also unveiled.

The company holds its annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, where investors hope to catch a glimpse of incoming CFO Ruth Porat's strategy.

Google shares are down 5% in the past three months. Shares were trading on Tuesday around $541.