January 31, 2012 11:04 AM
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Google outlines what will change and what isn't changing
Specifically, the search giant is pointing out that it is changing its privacy policies, not the privacy controls available to users. That is one key distinction users need to keep in mind.
Google says it received a letter from Congress asking about its plans to update privacy policies. Google intends to consolidate privacy policies into a single document that will be published on March 1.
Google notes there are two reasons that it is updating the privacy policies. The first reason, according to Google, is to make the privacy policies easier to understand for the end-user. The search giant notes this is something regulators have been asking technology firms to do for a while. The new privacy policies will wrap existing privacy policies for 60 individual Google products into one document.
The second reason for the changes is to make it easier for Google to share a user's information between different apps when the users sign into their Google account. Google claims the goal of easier sharing was to make more of a person's information available to them when they sign into their Google services account no matter the service they're using.
The post on Google's official Public Policy Blog also points out a few things that Google is specifically not changing. Google notes it still keeping all your private information private. Google also notes that you can still do all the searches you want and watch all the videos on YouTube you want without having to have a Google account. The privacy tools such as Google Dashboard and App Preferences Manager will also remain in place and not change.
Google promises that it won't sell the information you enter into your account to third parties for advertising purposes; and if you decide to close your account and leave, you can take your data with you.
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That is about what I read
1/31/2012 2:29:37 PM
The new polices are found on two relatively short pages (about the length of a DailyTech.com "Top Story" each)
They were simply worded so they would be easy for my non-tech friends and family to understand. They were also general enough to cover all the use cases I could think of.
The biggest positive was how clearly they indicated that Google does not sell your information and takes many steps to keep it safe, both from loss and from theft.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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