The New Google Privacy Rule: One (7 page) Policy, One Google Experience

In hearing that Google was changing their privacy policy and switching it to “one single policy”, I decided to check it out.  When I logged into my Gmail account, a page appeared that prompted me to either, a) move on to my Gmail account (this option was a bright blue button) or, b) read the new policy (this was a gray button that blended almost into the background.)

I clicked on the option to read the new policy and was surprised when confronted with a page full of text, not one simple sentence stating the new policy. Out of interest, I copied and pasted the information from the “Preview Privacy Policy”page and some information from the “Terms of Service Page” into a Word document.

All in all (without even copying every single page), I had a 26 page document in front of me.  Simple policy?  I think not.

The “Preview Policy” page itself is 7 pages when copied into a Word document. After reading it, I could not figure out what the privacy policy was or where it was stated.

On the policy preview page, it talks about the type of information they collect, how they use the information, transparency and choice, accessing and updating your information, information they share, information security and a few others subjects.

After reading the 7 page document, I am still wondering where the one simple policy is.

I am neither a technophobe nor a technophile, so I feel that I, as a typical user, should be able to find this information on a page titled “Policy Preview” quickly.

Is the new policy really 7 pages long?  Or have they buried it in the pages of information? Or do they not explicitly include the policy in the pages at all?  To be honest, I have no idea.

The page that leads the user to the “Policy Preview” states the following:

“We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google. This stuff matters, so please take a few minutes to read our updated Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service now. These changes will take effect on March 1, 2012. “

That seems easy enough right?

However, when I click on the Privacy Policy link, I am taken to the 7 pages of information.  Where is the “shorter and easier to read,” version?

I will be the first to say that Google is my ‘go to’ search engine.  It’s easy, intuitive and wicked useful.  That being said, I am immensely turned off that I, a person who considers herself an intelligent and technologically adept woman, cannot even FIND the new, simple, easy policy.

Am I missing something here?  My guess?: Many of us are missing something, and it’s not okay.  After all, in the words of Google, “This stuff matters”.