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Google's Privacy Policy "Confusing, Incoherent"

10:30 am on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Comment: Google’s new combined Privacy Policy (March 2012) has been widely criticised by privacy professionals and Data Protection Authorities (in particular the CNIL – the French Data Protection Authority). However, so far the reasons for this criticism have been made in general terms. Here is a more detailed explanation.

Google’s Privacy Policy is incoherent because it uses overlapping terms. This makes it difficult to follow, and makes it difficult to discern what type of information the policy is claiming to protect. It cannot be fair to users if they cannot easily understand what the privacy policy means for them. The policy is also unfair in conventional terms as it does not, in many instances, fully describe the purposes of the processing.

Lengthy article
12:07 pm on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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This is really good point. I tried to read the policy but my brain hurt after a minute or two. I think it has been deliberately designed not to be understood.
12:22 pm on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If you collect personal data on your website in the EU you need a privacy policy and actually it is a pretty easy and straighforward thing.

You state what information you collect. For example:
We collect the following personal data:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Address
- Date of birth
- Email Address
- IP Address

Then you state what you do with the data:
- We use the email address to send you newsletters and status updates for your ordera.
- We use the address for billing.

Then you state with whom you share your data:

- We transfer your name and address information to company XL to perform a credit check.

and so on.

Pretty easy, pretty straitforward unless - unless you do things with the data which you know might upset the customer. Or worse - which are illegal.

Then it get's fuzzy.

"We may or may not collect data which may or may not include information such as... We use this information to improve our services."

Which translates to: We collect every piece of information we can get our hands on, store it until kingdom come, and sell it to the highest bidder to improve the value for our shareholders.

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