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Google's new privacy policy: Is this war?

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Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images

The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. on September 2, 2011. AFP PHOTO/KIMIHIRO HOSHINO (Photo credit should read KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images)

Google just announced that it's making a big change to its privacy policy, effectively taking 70 different policies tied to different Google products — like search, Gmail, and YouTube — and reducing them to one. Google says that this will enable a much better integrated Google experience for users. Critics say that it's Google breaking its own Golden Rule: "Don't be evil."

It's actually neither. Rather, it's Google being Google. The mighty search colossus missed earnings badly the other day. Meanwhile, Apple just crushed it, earnings-wise. And of course the Facebook IPO looms. Google can't be content to operate like the world's greatest technology lab anymore. It needs to leverage what it's great at or lose out to the competition.

**UPDATE: I went on "AirTalk" with Larry Mantle this morning to talk about the new Google privacy policy. You can listen to the whole segment here.**

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