The change lets Google combine data on you from all of its sites
Users can delete Web, search history before the change happens
Deleting history doesn't mean Google can't use the info internally
To say that the change has stirred concern on the Web would be an understatement. Public officials and Web watchdogs in the United States and elsewhere have expressed fears that it will mean less privacy for users of the Web giant’s multitude of products, from search to Gmail to YouTube to Google Maps to smartphones powered by the Android operating system.
Google points out that the products won’t be collecting any more data about users than they were before. And, in fairness, the company has gone out of its way to prominently announce the product across all of its platforms for weeks.
The major change is that, instead of profiling users separately on each of its sites and products, Google will now pull all of that information together into one single profile, similar to what’s found on Google’s dashboard page.
The result encapsulates perhaps the most basic conundrum of the modern Web. More information means better service (and potentially, more targeted advertisements). But that service (in this case more accurate search results, more interesting ads and new features that work across multiple sites) requires you to give up some of your privacy in return.