(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

Long, complicated and lawyerly—that's what most people think about privacy policies, and for good reason. Even taking into account that they’re legal documents, most privacy policies are still too hard to understand.

So 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. As a first step, we’re making two types of improvements:
  1. Most of our products and services are covered by our main Google Privacy Policy. Some, however, also have their own supplementary individual policies. Since there is a lot of repetition, we are deleting 12 of these product-specific policies. 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.
  2. We’re also simplifying our main Google Privacy Policy to make it more user-friendly by cutting down the parts that are redundant and rewriting the more legalistic bits so people can understand them more easily. 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.
In addition, we’re adding:
  • More content to some of our product Help Centers so people will be able to find information about protecting their privacy more easily; and
  • A new privacy tools page to the Google Privacy Center. This will mean that our most popular privacy tools are now all in one place.
These privacy policy updates will take effect in a month, on October 3. You can see the new main Google Privacy Policy here, and if you have questions this FAQ should be helpful.

Our updated privacy policies still might not be your top choice for beach reading (I am, after all, still a lawyer), but hopefully you’ll find the improvements to be a step in the right direction.