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This article was published on September 3, 2010

Google Simplifies Its Privacy Policies, Takes Effect October 3

Google Simplifies Its Privacy Policies, Takes Effect October 3
Chad Catacchio
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Chad Catacchio

Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).

Google has just announced that it is “trimming” its privacy policies, eliminating 12 redundant product-specific policies and simplifying its overall privacy policy. The policy changes take effect on October 3 (i.e. one month from now). Here’s what Google had to say on it’s Official Blog:

“So we’re simplifying and updating Google’s privacy policies. To be clear, we aren’t changing any of our privacy practices; we want to make our policies more transparent and understandable. As a first step, we’re making two types of improvements:

  1. Most of our products and services are covered by our main Google Privacy Policy. Some, however, also have their own supplementary individual policies. Since there is a lot of repetition, we are deleting 12 of these product-specific policies. These changes are also in line with the way information is used between certain products—for example, since contacts are shared between services like Gmail, Talk, Calendar and Docs, it makes sense for those services to be governed by one privacy policy as well.
  2. We’re also simplifying our main Google Privacy Policy to make it more user-friendly by cutting down the parts that are redundant and rewriting the more legalistic bits so people can understand them more easily. For example, we’re deleting a sentence that reads, “The affiliated sites through which our services are offered may have different privacy practices and we encourage you to read their privacy policies,” since it seems obvious that sites not owned by Google might have their own privacy policies.

Simpler is always better, so we applaud Google for making these changes, and hope that not only will Google continue to make strive to make its privacy policies as straightforward as possible, but that other sites will follow suit.