Private Parts

You won’t read Google’s privacy policy, but you should read this NYT look at how Google’s 4,000-Word Privacy Policy Is a Secret History of the Internet. “The late 1990s was a simpler time for Google. The nascent company was merely a search engine, and Gmail, Android and YouTube were but glimmers in the startup’s eye. Google’s first privacy policy reflected that simplicity. It was short and earnest, a quaint artifact of a different time in Silicon Valley, when Google offered 600 words to explain how it was collecting and using personal information. That version of the internet (and Google) is gone. Over the past 20 years, that same privacy policy has been rewritten into a sprawling 4,000-word explanation of the company’s data practices.” (Like other platforms, Google went from wanting to give you access to the whole world to wanting to be your whole world.)

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