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Google has translated its terms into “easier” language

Google edited its terms of service yesterday, claiming that “the changes reflect an evolving regulatory environment”. It seems the tech giant is feeling the pressure after numerous legal battles and intense global scrutiny.

Google claims that it hasn’t hidden any big changes in the update, but instead has spelled things out for people in simpler words. In fact, the biggest change is actually that Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS and Google Drive are now all covered in the terms.

In addition, the company now promises to flag any big changes that will affect user experience going forward. Buried at the bottom of the FAQ section is a quick explainer, saying that if you’re in the UK your data controller will be switched to the US-based company Google LLC after we leave the EU.

Related: UK Google users could be about to lose GDPR data protection

Google has been thrust under the spotlight recently through a string of legal cases related to data-harvesting. Both Australian and UK organisations brought lawsuits against the company for data grabs where consumers didn’t feel they had given full consent.

The company actually has a separate privacy policy that relates more closely to these issues – but following on from the lawsuits, it’s easy to see why Google might want clean up all of its legal documents, so customer can no longer cry ignorance if they fall on the wrong side of the conditions.

Related: How to download all the data Google has collected about you

Unfortunately, it’s a very, very long legal document, so it’s unlikely that anyone booting up Chrome for the first time is going to take their time perusing it. In fact, thanks to the latest update, the company has managed to squeeze in an extra 1,000 words.

The new set of terms will come into effect on March 31, 2020. You can read up on them here (if you’ve got five hours to spare…).


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