Google's Terms of Service changes boil down to privacy, security

Google's Terms of Service changes boil down to privacy, security

Summary: The new Terms will go live on Monday, November 11.

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Google has announced it will be modifying its Terms of Service soon. There are only a few changes, and while most are subtle, they do affect anyone with a Google account.

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Google must review privacy policy, EU data regulators rule

Google must review privacy policy, EU data regulators rule

European regulators have warned that the scope of Google's new consolidated privacy policy is "too large" and users must be given greater control over their data.

In a nutshell, the updates boil down to changes around privacy and security -- notably for mobile devices and social networking.

The full legalese version is already online, as well as a summary. Here's what you need to know.

For starters, users will be able to control whether or not their profile images and names appear in reviews, advertising and other commercial contexts on Google properties. This can be managed through the Shared Endorsements setting.

Google asserted that this could only happen when users take an action (i.e. +1 an item on Google+, etc.), and their images and names are only visible to contacts already designated for sharing.

The Internet giant is also taking a more proactive approach in reminding people to be cautious about their digital identities, especially on mobile devices.

Here's an example:

It’s just good common sense: Don’t use our services if you’re doing something that requires your full attention, like driving, and our services might distract you. And, of course, always follow the law while driving.

On the one hand, it does look like a way for Google to remove itself from any liability in terms of stolen devices and/or passwords. At the same time, users are the ones who need to be held responsible for their own online activity and awareness (or lack thereof), and a spelled-out reminder is a good idea.

The new Terms will go live on Monday, November 11, replacing the existing ToS policy.

Topics: Security, Google, Legal, Mobility, Privacy

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7 comments
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  • WOW

    great break through!!
    Awsome for every ones good.
    Mac_Win
    • Yes, so we have the great Google products for free This is nothing in comp

      Yes, so we have the great Google products for free

      This is nothing in compare with the NSA USA fascism....this is what needs or real concerns!
      anywherehome
      • Nice

        Way to lower the bar there, bud.

        Gee, Google's not so bad... I mean, look at Hitler.

        You simpleminded apologist, you.
        Andre Richards
        • care more about NSA USA fascists!

          why bad?
          1) only your contacts see that
          2) you can disable that

          I see its just useful....just brainless or paid people look at it in a negative way ;)
          anywherehome
  • Promote Privacy-Conscious Websites

    The web will be a better place if we support sites like these: Ravetree, DuckDuckGo, HushMail, OpenStreetMaps. These sites, and others like them, will only get better if we promote them and get more people using them. We have the freedom to make this happen - an internet that has privacy.
    chrisp114
  • Another way to fool consumers

    Average user will never read the 'terms of service' and the fine print. This is another Google trick to escape the law and exploit user privacy.
    Owl`Net
    • RE: This is another Google trick

      Wild guess: Microsoft isn't doing it...
      mack.