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New York Times is saying much more than that - they are saying that they are using an unspecified number of third parties each of which is operating independently while having potentially full access to customer data. And throwing their hands up in the air and saying that they have no control over any of this. Google isn't their only vendor and at least Google is likely to be operating within some bounds - you don't know what their other vendors are nor what they are doing. This renders the entire privacy policy moot from the consumer's perspective.

And no this is not something they have to do. The idea that they cannot control what their vendors do is completely absurd - they have contracts with these vendors so they can state exactly what vendors are allowed to do under these contracts in the privacy policy. The only excuse here is that they are either too embarrassed to put what's in these contracts and/or they have no idea what's in those contracts. What NYT is doing is more or less equivalent to selling their users' data, which Google does not do.

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