Google said Tuesday it will follow the activities of users across e-mail, search, YouTube and other services, a shift in strategy that is expected to invite greater scrutiny of its privacy and competitive practices. The information will enable Google to develop a fuller picture of how people use its growing empire of Web sites. Consumers will have no choice but to accept the changes. The policy will take effect March 1 and will also impact Android mobile phone users, who are required to log in to Google accounts when they activate their phones. “If you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services,” Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy, product and engineering wrote in a blog post.
That person may also be reminded of a business trip to Washington on Google Calendar and asked whether he or she wants to notify friends who live in the area, information Google would cull from online contacts or its social network Google+. Google said it would notify its hundreds of millions of users of the change through an e-mail and on its main search site.
Privacy advocates say Google’s new policy may betray users who did not expect their information would be shared across different Web sites when they signed up for a single service, such as Gmail.
Well at least they’re being upfront about it. The rest is up to the consumer, (yes, you do have a choice) to decide whether they want to put up with this crap. I am convinced that like Facebook, the vast majority will embrace it, and Google knows it.