January 25, 2012- Before long, Google will know more about its users and what they do while on the web. On Tuesday, the company announced it would follow users’ activities across all of its sites including Gmail, YouTube and its search engine.
Google had been collecting this information previously, but now it will combine data across its sites for the first time to piece together a better portrait of its users. These changes being implemented by Google will not have an option of opting out. The changes will go into effect March 1. Experts say federal regulators may scrutinize Google even more because of the new policy changes.
The policy changes are geared to help Google better tailor advertising to its users tastes. For example, if someone watches an NFL clip on the web and lives in Boston, Google may advertise in the users Gmail account season tickets for the New England Patriots.
Consumer advocates are saying the policy change may cause people to be upset, as they may have not expected their information to be shared with so many new websites.
Google will be able to collect user information when someone activates a mobile phone with Android, when a user signs into online accounts or when they enter terms to search online. They can also store cookies on computers of users to see the different web sites the user visits or even use its map program to estimate the location of a user.