Google has stated that they are doing this because they wish to create a “beautiful, simple and intuitive experience” for their users.
In effect, the new policy will make it possible to share information provided by a user on one Google product across all other Google products and features. This includes Gmail, Google Search, YouTube, Google Plus and others.
A major stumbling block of this new policy is the fact that users will not have the option to disagree with the policy if they wish to continue using any of these Google services.
Regular consumers are not blind to the fact that Google makes its money from advertising. They also accept that in order to advertise on all of its services, Google does need to be able to pull information from one service and use it elsewhere. What they dislike is the idea that Google is mixing the concept of privacy in a closed system such as GMail with that on an open network such as Google+ or YouTube.
Official Investigations Triggered
Not surprisingly, the announcement has not gone down too well with certain groups. Gary Davis, the Data Protection Commissioner in Dublin, where Google’s European headquarters are based, has said that their office would be “further assessing the implications of the changes now that they are launched to users”. He also said that “Google has a responsibility to ensure that any such changes are made abundantly clear to users”.
Greg Jones from the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office said, “Failure to inform users about changes may not only lead to a loss of trust in the company, but could also mean that they are failing to comply” with U.K. law.
The new policy will come into effect from the 1st of March 2012.