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Google Dumping Over 60 Privacy Policies for 1

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Google is maturing before our very eyes -- more so in the past few months. The company is taking great pains in creating a "unified" user experience across its more popular digital products. On January 24th, Google announced some changes to their privacy policy:

We're updating our privacy policies and the Google Terms of Service. This stuff matters -- please take a few minutes to read the new policies...

Now, Google has had the philosophy of "Do no evil." And there are pundits that will argue otherwise but the fact is that "Do no evil" is ingrained deeply into the Google culture. With that said, Google has taken the initiative to remove over 60 privacy policies and replacing those policies with just 1. Yep, on  March 1, 2012, Google will simply have 1 privacy policy which will cover multiple products and features. This is not only a reflection of the company's commitment to a better user experience but a reflection of Google's maturity.

I read through the Preview: Privacy Policy and I appreciate how Google clearly defines how your personal data is being collected and used. Google uses this data for a number of reasons which are spelled out in the privacy statement. And only Google uses your information, unless you have given them opt-in consent. The information Google does collect is both identifiable and anonymous. Case in point, identifiable information can be obtained when you log-in to a service like Google+. And anonymous data collection may occur when  Google collects device information from your Android handset.

The social Web is viewed by many as the single most important tool in the history of mankind. It allows us to create, collaborate and share massive amounts of information -- nearly instantaneously. Unfortunately, as we hop around the Web we leave behind a great deal of our personal information -- without clearly understanding the implications. Is it because many of us are naive, careless or simply uneducated on what is being done with our personal information? I say "yes," so I appreciate that Google has taken the time to understand the complexities and not only simplified its own privacy policy but has reduced it to 1.

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