Google’s Privacy Policy over the Years

Google’s Privacy Policy is going to change this March in order to unify up to 60 different policies across all the services Google has to offer. While reading through the new terms, I compared what did change exactly to see if the coverage in other blogs and media is correct.

As older versions are still available, I noticed that the beginning of this Privacy Policy has changed over the years. There used to be a first sentence explaining the general approach Google takes towards your data. But read yourself:

August 14, 2000:

Google respects and protects the privacy of the individuals that use Google’s search engine services. […]

Well, that sounds fair.

July 1, 2004:

At Google, we strive to develop innovative services to better serve our users. We recognize that privacy is an important issue, so we design and operate our services with the protection of your privacy in mind. […]

Hey, they want to bring us innovation. Okay, at least they think about privacy—in the second sentence.

October 14, 2005,
August 7, 2008,
January 27, 2009,
March 11, 2009:

At Google we recognize that privacy is important. […]

Yes, they are aware that privacy is important, but they might do whatever they want with your data.

October 3, 2010,
March 1, 2012

[…]

From here on, no such sentence exists anymore. I leave it to you what that means.

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