ProPublica reported on the change Oct. 21, noting that Google could now, if it wanted to, “build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.”
“The move is a sea change for Google and a further blow to the online ad industry’s longstanding contention that web tracking is mostly anonymous,” ProPublica reported. “In recent years, Facebook, offline data brokers and others have increasingly sought to combine their troves of web tracking data with people’s real names. But until this summer, Google held the line.”
New Gmail users automatically agree to the policy when they sign up, while old Gmail users must opt-in.