Google to Users: You Can't Opt Out

Google announces privacy policy changes, users must adhere

By Brittney Gilbert
|  Wednesday, Jan 25, 2012  |  Updated 9:34 AM EDT
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NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27: Co-founder of Google Larry Page smiles during the Clinton Global Inititative annual meeting September 27, 2007 in New York. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Larry Page

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Google announced Tuesday that it will be changing its privacy policy for all of its web products. And if users don't like it? Too bad.

The sweeping change to the way Google gathers and uses information culled from users is not something you can opt out of, the Washington Post reports.

Those who use YouTube, Gmail, Google+ and other Google-run platforms will have their activity recorded and carried over across all properties, a move already raising the ire of privacy advocates.

For instance, if you spend an afternoon watching cute kitten videos on YouTube, don't be surprised to see ads for cat adoption pop up when you sign in to GMail.

Google says this move will allow users a simpler, more intuitive web experience; skeptics say it's a draconian move that compromises the privacy of trusting users.

Is this announcement by Google on the same day that Apple revealed astronomically high revenue totals a coincidence? Doubtful, as some see this extreme policy shift to be in direct response to competitors after Google disappointed investors last week.

All eyes are on Google CEO Larry Page as his push to make Google "go social" divides the web-using populace, as well as some long-standing Google staffers.

Will users rebel and abandon Google properties in efforts to maintain a semblance of privacy on the web? Google, it seems, is betting not.

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