Science + Tech

Google Unifies Their Privacy Policies


In order to form a more perfect service known as Google, Google will be making a change to both simplify as well as allow better integration between services by creating a new Main Privacy policy. The new privacy policy will take effect on March 1st, 2012.

The new privacy policy does not cover all 70+ products that Google has, but it is taking over 60 of the products and reducing the number down to the one main policy. Some Privacy Policies will remain in effect, like Google Books, Google Wallet and Google Chrome. As Google states, some products, like Google Books and Google Wallet, are regulated and therefore require their own privacy policies and require specific descriptions for those products.

Why would Google need to change their privacy policy? There are two big reasons, the first is pressure from regulators around the world requesting a simpler privacy policy. Having a primary privacy policy means that Google can more easily deal with privacy issues and privacy problems on a larger scale than on an individual by individual product basis. The second, and the much bigger, reason for a new privacy policy is to allow Google to share information between different products much more easily than before.

For example, let’s say you were using Gmail, and in Gmail’s privacy policy it would state that it scrape the subject lines of your email to show you potentially relevant text ads at the top of your Gmail inbox. Let us also say that you were using Google+ and wanted to share something that someone had emailed you on Google+. It could be that the Google+ privacy policy would not allow you to automatically share a portion of the email within Google+. Sure, you could copy and paste the relevant section and share it that way, but it would and could not be automatic. Under the new privacy policy, this may be allowed since Gmail data can be shared with the Google+. I am not saying this is the case, but it used as an example.

You should read the new Privacy Policy, which you can read at Google’s Policies site. If you do not approve of the new privacy policy, you always have the option to not comply and export your data using Google’s Data Liberation front.

Overall this is nothing but a win for both Google, and Google users. This will make it much easier to understand exactly what Google can and cannot do with the information that they glean from crawling the web as well as the information that you provide to Google. Anything that makes life just a bit easier is always a win in my book.

Source is Google’s Blog

James Hicks

James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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