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June 25, 2015

Google's Updated Privacy Policy

Google has recently changed its privacy policy and there's a page that shows the differences. It's not clear if there are actual changes or the updated privacy policy only clarifies some existing features.


The new privacy policy states that information like your name, email address, phone number or credit card could be stored with your Google account, which is not something new. Another change is that the "cookies and anonymous identifiers" section is now called "cookies and similar technologies", which is a broader title.

The following text:
We and our partners use various technologies to collect and store information when you visit a Google service, and this may include sending one or more cookies or anonymous identifiers to your device.
... has been replaced with:
We and our partners use various technologies to collect and store information when you visit a Google service, and this may include using cookies or similar technologies to identify your browser or device.
Basically, Google removed all the references to "anonymous identifiers" from the privacy policy and replaced them with "similar technologies", which includes anonymous identifiers, but also HTML5 Local Storage, local shared objects (Flash cookies), Web beacons and more. The privacy policy clearly states that Google can use cookies and similar technologies to identify your browser or device. Google says that it uses "these technologies to collect and store information when you interact with services we offer to our partners, such as advertising services or Google features that may appear on other sites."

There's also a new paragraph:
Information we collect when you are signed in to Google may be associated with your Google Account. When information is associated with your Google Account, we treat it as personal information. For more information about how you can access, manage or delete information that is associated with your Google Account, visit the Transparency and choice section of this policy.

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