What you should know about Google’s New Privacy Policies

Google is updating its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service on March 1, 2012.  If you use any Google services this update applies to you.  This change will allow Google to support a single set of terms and policies across the entire Googleverse and make things simpler for both users and the search giant.

Privacy PolicyWith a single privacy policy, Google can use information from one service and deliver it to users of another service. This will help users get more out of Google+ by helping them connect with the people they correspond with via Gmail.

In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience,” Google notes.

Google has published FAQ – Policies & Principles to help users understand the changes.

What’s different about the new Privacy Policy?

First, we’ve rewritten the main Google Privacy Policy from top to bottom to be simpler and more readable. The new policy replaces more than 60 existing product-specific privacy documents. This all should make it easier for you to learn about what data we collect and how we use it.

Second, the new policy reflects our efforts to create one beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google. It makes clear that, if you have a Google Account and are signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we can treat you as a single user across all our products.

What’s different about the new Google Terms of Service?

We’ve rewritten them, too—to make them more readable and to reduce the repetition and legalese. The terms explain more simply the legal terms associated with the use of our services, including how we treat content that users submit. We’ve also consolidated many of our terms, with most products now using the Google Terms of Service and dozens fewer products than before using additional or separate terms.

What should I expect to see change as a result of this?

Over time you can expect to see better search results, ads and other content when you’re using Google services. A more consistent user experience across Google might mean that we give you more accurate spelling suggestions because you’ve typed them before. Or maybe we can tell you that you’ll be late for a meeting based on your location, your calendar and the local traffic conditions. Google users still have to do too much heavy lifting, and we want to do a better job of helping them.

We’ll continue to work hard to make sure that any innovation is balanced with the appropriate level of privacy and security for our users, as we promise in our Privacy Principles.

What if I don’t want to use Google under the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service?

If you continue to use Google services after March 1, you’ll be doing so under the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. If you’d prefer to close your Google Account, you can follow the instructions in our help center. We remain committed to data liberation, so if you want to take your information elsewhere you can.

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