NICE TIMING: Google Announced A Big Change To Its Privacy Policy Right When Apple Announced Earnings

Larry Page profile
Larry Page at the 2008 Davos World Economic Forum.

[credit provider=”Robert Scoble via Flickr” url=””]

While the rest of the tech world was obsessing over Apple’s earnings, Google announced a big change to its privacy policy and terms of service. (The old trick used to be saving bad news for a Friday afternoon before a long weekend.)Starting on March 1, Google will allow itself to share your personal information across Google services, as long as you’re signed in.

Google previously had 60 separate privacy policies for different products. Now, it’s got just one.

Among the changes:

  • Google can now look at what you’ve been doing on YouTube, Gmail, and Google+ to suggest search results and “more relevant ads.”
  • Google can take information you provide on your Google Profile, including your name and photo, and use it on all your other Google products like Gmail — and can replace past names you used, so you’re the same on all sites.
  • Google will collect information from your mobile device, including your phone number, and associate it with your Google Account.

Here’s the most relevant bit pulled from the full policy:

We use the information we collect from all of our services to provide, maintain, protect and improve them, to develop new ones, and to protect Google and our users. We also use this information to offer you tailored content – like giving you more relevant search results and ads.

We may use the name you provide for your Google Profile across all of the services we offer that require a Google Account. In addition, we may replace past names associated with your Google Account so that you are represented consistently across all our services. If other users already have your email, or other information that identifies you, we may show them your publicly visible Google Profile information, such as your name and photo.

You can compare it against the current version here.