Don't fear the G

  • 1/31/2012

With all the hubbub surrounding Google’s new privacy policy, you’d almost think the end times were upon the internet. Now, I’m neither a lawyer nor affiliated with Google, but I’m pretty sure that:

  1. The barriers between Google’s services are relics. Google is an evolving company, with a raft of acquisitions and new products merged together beneath their umbrella. Every acquired product comes with both its own user base and its own terms to which its users have subscribed. Rather than introducing new terms whenever a service changes hands, Google has historically opted to maintain the status quo. As these services (see: Youtube) have been integrated with Google’s other offerings, it makes sense to replace archaic terms with ones that better represent the reality of the times.
  2. Simplicity is a good thing. Users are more likely to dive into, understand, and offer their consent to an agreement they’ve actually read. Brevity and clarity are two enormous positives the new terms bring to the table.
  3. Google’s extremely profitable model doesn’t involve compromising users’ data. When advertisers contract with Google, their interactions are limited to providing advertisement content, identifying the keywords or phrases, and paying their bills. Users interactions, on the other hand, are limited to having relevant ads displayed beside Google services and (occasionally) clicking through an ad to reach a third party. See the blind that’s protecting you? Users have no interaction with 3rd party entities until they click through to that party’s website.
  4. Terms of Service change all the time. The internet is evolving at an astonishing pace, and terms need to keep up. Humor the growing pains!

Hey, I'm RJ! For more learnings about software and management, find me @rjzaworski or sign up for my semi-regular newsletter.

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