Google’s Privacy Policy to change wef October 3, 2010

Possibly as a reaction to the criticism that Google has been facing recently, Google has announced updates to its Privacy Policy, starting 3rd October 2010. The Privacy Policy applies to all of the products, services and websites offered by Google Inc. or its subsidiaries or affiliated companies except Postini.

Google has stated that it is updating the main Google Privacy Policy to make it more user-friendly.

Google will also be retiring twelve policies in total: 3D Warehouse, App Engine, Calendar, Docs, Firefox Extensions, G1, Gmail, Feedback, iGoogle, Maps, Talk, Tasks.

Here is the preview of updated policy:

Information Google collects and how it will use it.

“We may collect the following types of information:

  • Information you provide – When you sign up for a Google Account, we ask you for personal information. We may combine the information you submit under your account with information from other Google services or third parties in order to provide you with a better experience and to improve the quality of our services. For certain services, we may give you the opportunity to opt out of combining such information. You can use the Google Dashboard to learn more about the information associated with your Account. If you are using Google services in conjunction with your Google Apps Account, Google provides such services in conjunction with or on behalf of your domain administrator. Your administrator will have access to your account information including your email. Consult your domain administrator’s privacy policy for more information.
  • Cookies – When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including for storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection, and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services.
  • Log information – When you access Google services, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website. These server logs may include information such as your web request, your interaction with a service, Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your account.
  • User communications – When you send email or other communications to Google, we may retain those communications in order to process your inquiries, respond to your requests and improve our services. When you send and receive SMS messages to or from one of our services that provides SMS functionality, we may collect and maintain information associated with those messages, such as the phone number, the wireless carrier associated with the phone number, the content of the message, and the date and time of the transaction. We may use your email address to communicate with you about our services.
  • Affiliated Google Services on other sites – We offer some of our services on or through other web sites. Personal information that you provide to those sites may be sent to Google in order to deliver the service. We process such information under this Privacy Policy.
  • Third Party Applications – Google may make available third party applications, such as gadgets or extensions, through its services. The information collected by Google when you enable a third party application is processed under this Privacy Policy. Information collected by the third party application provider is governed by their privacy policies.
  • Location data – Google offers location-enabled services, such as Google Maps and Latitude. If you use those services, Google may receive information about your actual location (such as GPS signals sent by a mobile device) or information that can be used to approximate a location (such as a cell ID).
  • Unique application number – Certain services, such as Google Toolbar, include a unique application number that is not associated with your account or you. This number and information about your installation (e.g., operating system type, version number) may be sent to Google when you install or uninstall that service, when that service periodically contacts our servers (for example, to request automatic updates to the software).
  • Other sites – This Privacy Policy applies to Google services only. We do not exercise control over the sites displayed as search results, sites that include Google applications, products or services, or links from within our various services. These other sites may place their own cookies or other files on your computer, collect data or solicit personal information from you.

In addition to the above, we may use the information we collect to:

  • Provide, maintain, protect, and improve our services (including advertising services) and develop new services; and
  • Protect the rights or property of Google or our users.

If we use this information in a manner different than the purpose for which it was collected, then we will ask for your consent prior to such use.”

Google processes personal information on our servers in the United States of America and in other countries. In some cases, we process personal information outside your own country

Choices

You can use the Google Dashboard to review and control the information stored in your Google Account.

Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies, but you can reset your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, some Google features and services may not function properly if your cookies are disabled.

Google uses the DoubleClick advertising cookie on AdSense partner sites and certain Google services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web. You can view and manage your ads preferences associated with this cookie by accessing the Ads Preferences Manager. In addition, you may choose to opt out of the DoubleClick cookie at any time by using DoubleClick’s opt-out cookie.

Details: Privacy Policy 2010 | Privacy Policy Changes | Privacy Policy FAQ.

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Susannah Lindsay quit her job a few years back to settle down in a life of domesticity. She has been living in Los Angeles for the last three years, and enjoys following new gadget releases and the latest happenings on the technological front.