Google has already been collecting bits of personal information from its various services, but soon it will combine it all to produce more targeted ads.
So let's say you are signed into Gmail and you decide to watch a video on YouTube. Then you check out your friend's vacation photos on Picasa. Well, Google will now combine all of that data to create a single, fuller portrait of you for advertisers.
The change is causing a stir online and around the world. In the U.S., the National Association of Attorneys General expressed "strong concerns" in a letter to Google CEO Larry Page. It reads in part, "The new policy forces these consumers to allow information across all of these products to be shared, without giving them the proper ability to opt out."
The European Union declared it would investigate whether the new policy violates European law and urged Google to postpone the changes. Google responded that it believed the policy complied with the law, and the company would still go forward on March 1.