Google is the world leader in providing search results from millions of websites out there. Most people use it for searching, and have it set as their home-page and also their default search engine. Google has been around for many years, and has managed to amass a large number of users. Its services aren’t just limited to search either. Now, there are countless Google products around that keep users from leaving Google sites, such as Google Reader, Google Maps, Google Places, Blogger, Google+, and so on. While you’re on Google sites, here are a few Google Terms of Service you need to be aware of.
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Limited Copyright license – The copyright license that you grant Google regarding your content for only for “limited purpose” of operating, promoting and improving Google Services. Hence, unlike Facebook, where you grant a complete copyright license, you only provide a limited license here.
Your content can be used for any service – This is the flip side of Google. Since Google has so many services, the content that you publish on one service can be used by Google on another, without you even knowing about. Hence, signing up for one service may lead to involuntary signing up for another one present or in the future.
Jurisdiction in California – “The laws of California, U.S.A., excluding California’s conflict of laws rules, will apply to any disputes arising out of or relating to these terms or the Services. All claims arising out of or relating to these terms or the Services will be litigated exclusively in the federal or state courts of Santa Clara County, California, USA, and you and Google consent to personal jurisdiction in those courts.”
Simply put, this means any arising disputes are to be handled according to the state laws of California.
Notification ahead of Data requests – Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Google doesn’t hand over your user data immediately upon a government’s request. It will first let you know, and then disclose your information so you get a heads-up to give you a chance to defend yourself against any charges.
Help – Like Facebook, Google provides all the help you need to use its services effectively and easily. It also educates you and offers tips on various subjects, such as basic web technologies so that you can be more productive.
Law enforcement transparency – Google doesn’t give out your information immediately when approached by law enforcement agencies. Instead, they have to follow a standard procedure, which the users are informed about.
It is these user-friendly ToS that make Google a great place to be. With just one negative point, we can expect it to be rated Class A or Class B by TOS;DR.
(You can read the full Google terms of Service here)