Google has confirmed that it is planning to merge user info across all its sites, treating people as a ‘single user’ across all sites. The company says this will allow it to offer a more intuitive service, but privacy campaigners are warning that it’s a dangerous move that could attract regulatory attention.
In some ways, what Google is doing isn’t really that big of a deal. Most people would probably expect Google to already recognise people as a ‘single user’ across services such as Google Search, Google+ and Gmail. But given the fact that many people now store highly sensitive information via Google, some people are worried about data security.
Online privacy was a big story in 2011 and that looks to continue in 2012. The full implications of the Google changes aren’t yet known, but are expected to come into force in March. Users are not expected to be able to opt out of the new system.