Google Keeps Privacy Policy Off Homepage

    May 27, 2008

Google’s rather touchy about its homepage.  So touchy, in fact, that the search giant has chosen not to link to its privacy policy from that homepage, even though this refusal could have kept it out of the Network Advertising Initiative.

Saul Hansell reports that Google applied to join the NAI after it acquired DoubleClick, and NAI rules require that members’ privacy policies be available through their homepages.

 The Network Advertising Initiative And Its Privacy Policy

This seems fair; at face value, hiding a privacy policy is a bit evil-sounding.  However, Google’s homepage has changed so little over the years that the most minor alterations have become newsworthy, with Marissa Mayer herself introducing one a couple of autumns ago.

Also, a Google spokesperson pointed out to Hansell, "By simply typing ‘Google privacy policy’ into the Google search engine, consumers can easily find not only our privacy policy, but additional information about privacy."  Assuming consumers are even interested in the 1,800-word document, which most aren’t.

A less important company that stuck to this line would probably be out of luck.  There’s a good chance that the NAI will accommodate Google, though, and allow its homepage to remain as streamlined as ever.