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Google rejigs privacy policy after ice-cream van man slam

Gotta wait until 3 Oct, though

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Google announced that it tweaked its privacy policy last Friday, just hours after a satirical video ad appeared on a huge screen in New York's Times Square that poked fun at the firm's boss.

"We're simplifying and updating Google's privacy policies," said Mountain View Associate General Counsel Mike Yang in a blog post.

"To be clear, we aren't changing any of our privacy practices; we want to make our policies more transparent and understandable."

The company has ditched 12 "product-specific policies" in a move to cutback on repetition.

"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 sense for those services to be governed by one privacy policy as well," said Yang.

The ad broker has also edited its main Google privacy policy to get rid of what Yang described as "redundant" parts.

He offered the following snippet as an example of what's been culled from the policy:

"For example, we’re deleting a sentence that reads, 'The affiliated sites through which our services are offered may have different privacy practices and we encourage you to read their privacy policies,' since it seems obvious that sites not owned by Google might have their own privacy policies."

Google has added more detail to its Help Centers about how people can protect their privacy when using the Chocolate Factory's products online.

It's also created a privacy tools page for users. The changes won't kick-in until 3 October, Yang added.

Late last week Eric Schmidt was portrayed as a depraved privacy pervert by the US-based ConsumerWatchdog.org, which splurged cash on a huge digital billboard to promote the animated vid, which ridicules Schmidt’s much-derided attitude toward consumer privacy.

Then last Sunday Google agreed to pay $8.5m to settle a class action lawsuit claiming it violated the privacy of Gmail users when it released Google Buzz. ®

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