The changes allow Google to use data obtained from one of its services to be used across any of the other services they control. These services include Gmail, YouTube Google+ and of course the search engine at the hub of it all.
When you search for something using Google you will (if you don’t already) start seeing adverts relating to the searched item appearing when you use YouTube etc. This only occurs if you are signed in with your Google account, so obviously if you don’t like this kind of intrusive advertising you can opt out of Google services altogether!
There are some options available from within the Google Dashboard to turn of aspects of the advertising. Google can track your web usage using cookies even if you are not signed in but you can remove Web history by going to google.com/history . You can download details of the information Google has on you by visiting google.com/takeout
If you want to avoid all this completely you can cancel you Google account and according to a spokesperson on the radio this morning ”Google will delete all your data from their system!!”
Privacy online is of great concern to most people and especially data protection groups which is probably why the European Union are investigating the changes to see if they breach European law.
Presumably one way round the Google data passing would be to create a different account for each of their services you like using, although I personally would find that extremely frustrating. At the moment if you want to remain anonymous on the Web then you better not join any clubs, forums, mail lists or social media sites, make sure your firewall, anti-virus, anti-malware is all up to date! and your personal files are safely encrypted on your secure hard drives…….
………… Better still don’t connect your computer to the Internet, close all the curtains and don’t go outside!