Google to introduce new privacy policy


Google is to introduce a refreshed main privacy policy, covering the majority of its products.

It will explain what data Google collects and how it is used in a "much more readable way," the internet giant said yesterday evening.

The privacy changes will come into force on 1 March, but users will be notified about them from today via email and on the Google homepage.

Regulators globally have been calling for shorter, simpler privacy policies.

"While we've had to keep a handful of separate privacy notices for legal and other reasons, we're consolidating more than 60 into our main Privacy Policy," said Google's director of privacy, product and engineering Alma Whitten, in a blog post.

"Regulators globally have been calling for shorter, simpler privacy policies - and having one policy covering many different products is now fairly standard across the web."

More specifically, Google has made its Terms of Service "easier to read," as it cuts down the size of the document.

The changes will also explain to account holders that Google may combine data provided to the company across different services.

The company also talked up how its recent changes to search, designed to make results fit users' needs, used this concept of data gathering.

The search alterations have been vehemently attacked by rivals, however, as Facebook and Twitter have raised concerns Google is warping results to point users to Google+, rather than other social networks.

Google's announcement can be seen as another attempt to prove its worth over rival Facebook, which has been heavily criticised for its privacy actions in recent times.

Google also recently changed its policy on nicknames on its social network Google+, allowing the use of pseudonyms something Facebook tries to crack down on with its "real-name culture."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.