Google tweaks their privacy policies

Google has announced a number of changes to their privacy policy, making them more simplified and removing some of the complicated "lawyer" terminology.

In a post on the official Google blog, Mike Yang, Google's Associate General Counsel, confirmed the changes would be put in place on October 3, with users prompted on many popular Google services today to check over the new policy before it goes live next month.

"Long, complicated and lawyerly—that's what most people think about privacy policies, and for good reason," Yang wrote. "So we’re simplifying and updating Google’s privacy policies. We want to make our policies more transparent and understandable."

So what's changed? Google has always had a company-wide privacy policy for all users on every product - but some, such as Gmail and Docs, had their own adapted versions of the policy. That will soon no longer be the case, Google says, with 12 of the product-specific privacy policies to be scrapped in favor of the one streamlined approach.

The company is also removing redundant parts of the privacy policy as well as "rewriting" the more legalistic sentences in the document with the hopes of making the policy more relevant and understandable for everyone - not just the lawyers.

Yang also mentions the search giant will be posting more content on how to keep your information private in certain Google applications on their respective support websites, while a page describing tools that can be used to improve privacy has been already been added to the Google Privacy Center.

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11 Comments

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Making it easier to understand makes it harder to contest down the road. I'd like to believe Google is doing this in the interest of it's users, but after it's admitted ties and eagerness to help any alphabet agency and/or law enforcement, I question their motives for everything now.

"scroll...scroll...scroll.....I AGREE!

now let me see Nicole's half-naked pics while on vacation in Cancun!"

"what?! privacy policy? where?"

I like how:

- The Opt-Out option brings you to a page where you have to download some "advertising cookie opt-out plugin"...doesn't this seem backwards? I have to have something running on my system so they no longer track me?
- The Dashboard option requires you to log into an account. Again, this seems backwards to me...if I don't have an account, how can I even see the options that are available and tweak them?

Seems to me that if you really want privacy, Google is of no help--you're still on your own to block cookies and what-not, and use proxies.

OceanMotion said,
Rewording won't change their privacy policy.

Still makes it easier for the standard user to understand, which is better really.

Chasethebase said,

Still makes it easier for the standard user to understand, which is better really.

Yeah, absolutely. Some of them are just mind boggling.

Chasethebase said,

Still makes it easier for the standard user to understand, which is better really.

Less text means less specificity, which means whoever reads it has to assume the worst, and most of the time it's no picnic to think about all possible scenarios where the policy applies.

I would be glad to see that, pretty smart move from google since everyone attacks it for every move they do (well sometimes they deserve it)

Good, maybe they'll finally tell us what is being withheld and why. I'm not one to really worry about what data Google collects, because that's the compromise I chose to make when I installed Chrome. But I don't want anyone else with it "just because".