On March 1, Google will introduce several changes to its privacy policies and terms of service, but decided to make this announcement more than a month earlier.
According to the Google Blog, the changes to the policies and terms of service are not only made public on the Google homepage, but also via an email that will be sent to all of the customers of the company. I, for one, haven’t received one, yet.
Until now, the privacy policies differed from one Google service to another, and since there are more than 70 services under the Google umbrella, there also used to be a lot of confusion. What the company intends to do on March 1 is to unify all of the services under a single set of privacy policies. Such an initiative will most probably be applauded by the users of the services, since they would no longer have to memorize different rules for each service. That is, in case they read the privacy policies at all. Most of use neglect this aspect quite often and we really should not, since it is in our best interest to know how our privacy will be affected while using a particular service. Presumably, this change will improve considerably the experience users have when using any of the Google products, as in time the services will start interacting and exchanging data one with another.
The TOS (terms of service), which should also be read by people prior to creating a Google account, will also go through some changes, starting on the same date. More details regarding these changes are available here. From what it looks like, Google seems to remain true to its slogan (“Don’t be evil”) by being transparent towards its customers, even though that motto may have been contested at times.
This is in my honest opinion a successful attempt of simplifying things where possible and I really think that more online companies should follow the example set by Google. It certainly proves that not only the design of Google products is simple and intuitive, but also its way of interacting with the users.