Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Google’s new Privacy Policy Requirement for Adsense

There is a discussion going on at webmaster world about google’s new requirement that all sites using adsense need a privacy policy. Apparently the overpaid lawyers at the Googleplex decided that things weren’t complicated enough already. They came up with a requirement that everyone post a privacy policy. If you wanted to access your adsense account, you had to agree to Google’s new terms. A quick explaination can be found at http://adsense.blogspot.com/2008/02/updated-terms-and-conditions.html

But that is it- Only a quick explaination. The members at webmasterworld have been trying to figure out exactly what we are required to do. The famous ASA (Adsense advisor) has been conspicously absent from the forum so far

http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/3584379-1-10.htm

A lot of discussion for that thread centers around the cookies and web beacons that google uses. Those things will have some impact on the privacy of your visitors. The other issue is that Google is notorious for penalizing duplicate content and repetitive navigation links. This policy you will need to place on your sites is a typical multi page lawyer brain fart. No one is sure if that will cause duplicate content issues. Also, it appears that sites have been hit with the infamous 950 penalty because of internal navigation links in headers, footers and sidebars. Everyone is trying to sort out how to put a link to your policy in a way that will not send your rankings into the abyss.

Icedowl posted on the forum that the Direct Marketing Association has a privacy policy generator online. It’s probably a good idea to have a policy. It will probably take you about 15 minutes or so to fill it out for each site. You can then view the resulting policy online or have it mailed to you in html or plain text. You can find the generator at http://www.the-dma.org/privacy/creating.shtml

Too many lawyers, not enough chum. I can just picture one of the Googleplex lawyers at lunch with their lawyer buddies “Hey Bob, you oughta see what we did. Now everyone is going to have to hire a lawyer to put a privacy policy on their sites” “cool dude” “Yeah, and once you guys milk that, you can start some lawsuits and really get things confused. We’ll get it so that every small mom and pop site has to spend at least a couple of grand for legal fees every year”

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