Google’s New Privacy Policy under One Roof

Google has updated its privacy policy in a way that breaks down product silos, but allows the search giant to mine data across all of its services. In a blog post, Google outlined the changes. These changes are good in many respects. Companies everywhere want to break down product walls to get a 360 degree view of customers. The difference with Google is reach and it is actually succeeding. In short, Google is:

1) Making its privacy policies easier to read.

2) Aggregating data across products for Google and user experience.

3) Arguing that it’s easier to take your data and go somewhere else.

Coming 1st March, Google is collapsing its more than 60 different product-specific privacy policies and terms of service into one overhauled, streamlined document that more accurately reflects the search giant’s priorities. The shift in policy came up as Google worked to revamp a confusing maze of privacy policies for each service. The search giant did away with all those policies, replacing them with a single set of rules to govern all the data it collects. From Google’s point of view, this will serve to make the Web more relevant, its chief objective.

But still for many web users, this caused a bit of shock between work and personal uses. Here’s how this boils down:

The good: Anything that simplifies privacy policies makes sense—even if you may not agree with them. Google has more than 60 privacy documents today. That will be boiled down to one privacy policy.

The bad: Unified user experience aside, it was kind of nice to have my YouTube personas different from say, Gmail and Google+. Philosophically it makes sense. Emotionally I’m not so sure I’m on board the one for all approach.

The scary: Google will know more about you than your wife does. Everything across your screens will be integrated and tracked. Google noted that it collects information you provide, data from your usage, device information and location. Unique applications are also noted. Google is watching you as long as you are logged in. It’s also unclear whether this privacy policy move will be considered bundling in some way by regulators.

I’ll be curious to watch the discourse on Google’s new privacy policy and terms of service between now and the March 1st implementation. What about you? Leave your comment and feedback.

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