Privacy, simplified: Google´s shorter, sweeter policies blaze a trail for other companies

the recent announcement of changes to its privacy policies, Google is
scoring a win-win for itself and its users. The new policy document,
vastly shortened and in plain speech rather than legalese, is all part
of the company’s strategy to create a seamless personal user experience
that makes us relate to Google less as a search engine, and more as a
trusted personal assistant. The company is banking on attracting more
existing users to its newer services by eliminating a minor but probably
still significant obstacle. Their theory: Having to agree only once to a
privacy policy that grants access to virtually all Google services
means users will more readily try out new Google products they may not
have used before.

announced changes mean that users will not have to face an annoying
pop-up window asking for Terms of Use and Privacy Policies agreement
every time they start using a new Google service. Without that
discouragement, more Gmail users will start using and sharing on Google
Calendar, Chat, Photos, or Documents. They will start relying more on
Google’s location services to tell them where to eat or shop, or how to
find the fastest route to their meeting – about which they’ve already
been alerted by their Google Calendar. Each new service will already
know their language and the spelling of their contact names, enhancing
the user experience still further. Google will even bring search to a
personal level by highlighting information specifically relevant to that
user – for instance, material users and their contacts have already
shared on Google+. This is as close to having a personal assistant as
most people will ever get.

deserves credit for this move, which makes smart business sense for
them but also for Google users. It makes using every Google service less
intrusive and more convenient. And the new policies themselves are an
improvement in terms of readable length, simplified language,
transparency, and straightforward promises of privacy protection.
Compared to the recent troubles Facebook has had with their own privacy
policies, Google is raising the bar for all its competitors.