Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I don't get it. People want comprehensive details about what companies do with their information, but they also want short privacy policies. You can't have both. And if you look at Google's privacy policy, it's not legalese at all. It's mostly explanatory, since its text binds Google, not the user.

The TOU is a different matter, but, again, users and the law have forced companies into the situation where they have to explicitly spell out every detail. Even with that, Google's terms are written in what seems to me to be plain English (https://policies.google.com/terms?gl=us). What would you cut from that to make it more concise? I can see a few things, but I'm also not a lawyer, and I'm not equipped to judge what liabilities each sentence might protect Google from.

Most people never read this stuff because most people just don't care. They'll never have a dispute with Google that would be covered by the terms, and they don't care enough about privacy to find a less convenient but more privacy-sensitive alternative. Even if they do care about privacy, they probably have a pretty good idea of what kinds of information Google collects, so the privacy policy is at most a reference for cases where they are unsure. Attempting to force them to read it would be unproductive, since it contains information that is either irrelevant or else already known to potential users.

You are missing the point. There should be no need for such policies. Google should not be able / allowed to collect this data, with or without user consent.

If that's what the person I was replying to meant, they should just say that. They shouldn't say, "It's too long to read."

I don't agree at all with your point of view. I still think consenting adults can take some responsibility for making their own decisions about things. Obviously there should be exceptions when there are serious safety concerns, but such is plainly not the case with search engines.

Anyway, the TOU doesn't even address privacy very much. It would be a paragraph shorter if Google collected no user data at all. So I don't really think that is the point the top-level poster in this thread was making. Or if it was the point they were trying to make, they were doing so circuitously indeed.

> People want comprehensive details about what companies do with their information, but they also want short privacy policies. You can't have both.

You can, if the companies would not track users.

"We are not logging your activity, we are not using cookies unless you are using the webshop's cart and we delete it when the transaction is confirmed. We do not share your private information to anyone but the payment company.

We log IPs for 3 months for technical debugging. We do not try to identify the people the IPs belong to unless an illegal intrusion is detected."

This might be sensible for a wordpress plugin ecommerce website, however it is a ridiculous position when talking about Google activities. Gmail's point and value proposition is to store and fetch personal and professional information for the benefit of their users.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact