Google Privacy Policy Update Targets Simplicity

Google is updating its privacy policy to make it "more transparent and understandable." The changes will go into effect next month.

Google is reworking its privacy policy in the name of simplicity.

Google Associate General Counsel Mike Yang announced Friday that the search engine giant is making revisions to its policy to make it more comprehensible to regular users.

"Long, complicated and lawyerly-that's what most people think about privacy policies, and for good reason," he blogged. "Even taking into account that they're legal documents, most privacy policies are still too hard to understand. ... We're simplifying and updating Google's privacy policies. To be clear, we aren't changing any of our privacy practices; we want to make our policies more transparent and understandable."

The changes will take effect Oct. 3. The announcement comes at a time when the company just agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit regarding privacy concerns about Google Buzz.

In an effort to make its privacy approach easier to understand, Google is deleting 12 product-specific policies that repeat issues addressed by the company's main policy.

"These changes are also in line with the way information is used between certain products-for example, since contacts are shared between services like Gmail, Talk, Calendar and Docs, it makes senses for those services to be governed by one privacy policy as well," Yang blogged.

Secondly, Google is cutting down parts of its main privacy policy the company views as redundant and is rewriting "the more legalistic bits so people can understand them more easily," he added.

In addition, the company will add a new privacy tools page to the Google Privacy Center as well as more content to some of the product Help Centers, Yang wrote.