Google's new privacy policy and of "don't be don't be evil"

Probably like many of you, I received my new Google Privacy Policy via email this week, and while couched in language about creating a more "beautiful" experience for us, the users -- read: products -- it's also clearly about Google leveraging their popular services like Search and Gmail to help their new services, like Google+, become competitive with Facebook and Twitter.

Because Facebook and Twitter scare the shit out of Google and when companies, like people, are scared they do dumb things.

Google in particular, once the brash, brazen upstart that gave the proverbial middle finger to old, portal-style search sites and promised to always deliver the best results, not just the best Google-owned results, is struggling with their inner demons now. They don't want to be replaced by social search the way their authoritative search replaced Yahoo! and Alta Vistas of old.

I've riffed before that any company sufficiently large is indistinguishable from evil. As they grow, as they face competitive pressures, the interests and agendas of their shareholders, stakeholders, and executives increasingly and more noticeably diverge from the interests of their users. From us.

They, like many of us, become the parents they used to despise.

Why does this matter to me and why am I posting it on iMore, an iPhone and iPad focused site? Because I'm a huge user of Google services and iPhone and iPad users in general are huge users of Google's services. We use Google Search, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and other services every day. We give Google massive amounts of personal information. We give them our trust. And that absolutely means we have both the right and obligation to hold them to that trust.

According to Sarah Lacey at PandoDaily, Google's new, "don't be don't be evil" direction has become a concern even for many Googlers past and present, and the silence surrounding it is stymying even internal PR.

Good. This shouldn't be easy. It should be messy and public and painful, and if Google wants to keep getting and using our data, they should keep earning that privilege.

Hopefully the rumors of Larry Page not wanting to hear any opposition to their new Google+ strategy are false, and like Apple and Facebook have sometimes done in the past, Google's more unpopular new policies will be reversed, and soon.

Check the source link below for more on the issues surrounding Google's new, more publicly evil direction, and read on for the new privacy policy in full.

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Dear Google user,

We're getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that's a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.

We believe this stuff matters, so please take a few minutes to read our updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Service at These changes will take effect on March 1, 2012.

One policy, one Google experience

Easy to work across Google

Our new policy reflects a single product experience that does what you need, when you want it to. Whether you're reading an email that reminds you to schedule a family get-together or finding a favorite video that you want to share, we want to ensure you can move across Gmail, Calendar, Search, YouTube, or whatever your life calls for with ease.

Tailored for you

If you're signed into Google, we can do things like suggest search queries – or tailor your search results – based on the interests you've expressed in Google+, Gmail, and YouTube. We'll better understand which version of Pink or Jaguar you're searching for and get you those results faster.

Easy to share and collaborate

When you post or create a document online, you often want others to see and contribute. By remembering the contact information of the people you want to share with, we make it easy for you to share in any Google product or service with minimal clicks and errors.

Protecting your privacy hasn't changed

Our goal is to provide you with as much transparency and choice as possible, through products like Google Dashboard and Ads Preferences Manager, alongside other tools. Our privacy principles remain unchanged. And we'll never sell your personal information or share it without your permission (other than rare circumstances like valid legal requests).

Got questions?

We've got answers.

Visit our FAQ at to read more about the changes. (We figured our users might have a question or twenty-two.)

Notice of Change

March 1, 2012 is when the new Privacy Policy and Terms will come into effect. If you choose to keep using Google once the change occurs, you will be doing so under the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Please do not reply to this email. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered. Also, never enter your Google Account password after following a link in an email or chat to an untrusted site. Instead, go directly to the site, such as or Google will never email you to ask for your password or other sensitive information.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.