I wanted to find out what Google expresses to do with the extremely large amount of information it gathers from its social networking website Orkut. When going through the terms, I was felt happy for a second while I was mid-sentence, but it immediately turned to frown. I will explain why. This was the sentence I was reading.
You can terminate your account at any time. To learn how, click here. If you terminate your account, your profile, including any messages in your inbox, will be removed from the site and deleted from orkut servers. Because of the way we maintain this service such deletion may not be immediate, and residual copies of your profile information may remain on backup media.
It starts out by assuring that when you delete an account from Orkut, the profile gets deleted completely, and all messages in the inbox will be removed from the site and deleted from Orkut servers.
It sounds good on first read, but if you are familiar with Orkut you would realize that there is so much more information in your friends network, your scrap-book, your usage and communication statistics etc which will stay forever. They never make any explicit mention of this data.
Secondly, even if they mean to encompass all data using the meta-term “message”, the latter part of the sentence flushes down the effectiveness of the first sentence.
“… residual copies may remain on backup media…”. For how long? No mention.
Why can’t Google be more open and frank about how they intend to use and process the data and let people make a conscious choice rather than trying to mislead them?