This morning I received my copy of the email letting me know about Google’s new consolidated privacy statement[1].  This new policy will replace “over 60 different privacy policies”[2] currently in use.  For the most part there was nothing surprising.

Here is my summarized interpretation:

  1. We collect a lot of your information both manually (when you give it to us) and automatically (anywhere we can).
  2. We use that information to make money, ‘customize’ your experience across all our apps and improve our products.
  3. We provide a lot of tools for you to modify how your information is shared in some instances.
  4. If you don’t like us using cookies to track you, block them.  But then our stuff won’t work.
  5. If you are stupid and publicly share stuff you don’t want to through our services, it’s not our fault.  But that data is now ours (as well as anyone else’s in the world).
  6. We will make a best effort to make sure info we have about you is accurate.
  7. Even if you delete your stuff, we may keep it forever.
  8. We will share your information with third parties when you give us consent.[3]
  9. We will share your information with partners (who promise to comply with our privacy statement).
  10. We will share your information with the law when required to do so.
  11. We will make a best effort to protect your data both in our data centers and in transit.
  12. This policy applies to all of our products, except to those that it doesn’t (this one is one of my favorites).
  13. We will self regulate .[4]
  14. This policy will change.  But rights will not be reduced without your consent.

That last ones seems like a big promise.  The exact words are: “We will not reduce your rights under this Privacy Policy without your explicit consent.”

This simplified policy seems to fall in line with Google’s obvious efforts to simplify their business and consolidate their products.  Since about September of last year, they have cut quite a few fairly prominent projects[5].  Their last batch of cuts happened just 7 days ago[6].  In my opinion they are paving the way for a large centralized consumer product (Google Plus anyone?).  The rest will either become integrated into this product or an appendage to it.