As of March 1st, Google will track every search you ever make - along with every result you ever click on. Yes - there are 'ifs and buts' - 'if' you are signed into any google service ( gmail , YouTube , google+..) - and yes, you CAN delete this tracking history if you need to, but:
a) Deletion is not necessarily something you will do on a regular basis b) Google will still maintain a record of your tracking history - even though you may have deleted it from your profile.
Google would also like permission to store your 'location services' information FOREVER. If you use google maps on your iPhone or Android, Google already knows where you are at any given time (which it needs in order to provide accurate location services). However, instead of discarding that information once it is done, Google now wants to hold on to it - for good.
A recent WashingtonPost article pointed out that this isn't about google growing it's business - it is a major paradigm shift in Google's thought process.
Google's justification is that they are trying to offer a 'more unified experience' across all its services. If you feel that Google's privacy changes go too far, please read and sign this petition. Let us show Google what a true 'unified experience' really looks like.
REFERENCES: 1) A preview the upcoming policy changes can be found here http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/preview/2) WashingtonPost article - http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/google-privacy-policy-who-will-be-affected-and-how-you-can-choose-what-information-gets-shared/2012/01/26/gIQA69fNVQ_story.html
We understand and respect the right of any company to pursue it's growth plans. In fact, we understand it remarkably well - since we constitute 'THE growth' that you are experiencing. Us users. Us searchers. Us Googlers (look - we even turned you into a household 'verb').
So you will understand why we are upset at your forthcoming privacy changes. We believe these changes will deprive us of the abandon with which we could search for anything and everything.
It will deprive us of turning on our location services while going to our favorite bar or restaurant - because we do not want that to be part of our permanent history with Google.
We understand that we have the right to delete this information. We also understand that we need to be 'signed in' to a Google service to enable all these tracking features.
However, what you don't understand is that we need to be 'signed out' of all these features to ensure that we are not being tracked. And that is a lot of work. Signing out of every Google service on our home laptops, our work desktops, our tablets and our mobile devices - is a lot of work. So - while we appreciate you offering us a way out, we would appreciate it more if you didn't offer us a 'way in' to begin with.
More importantly, we feel that we, the users, are no longer at the center of Google's Universe. We feel 'used' - and that we are now worth only the information we can provide Google. And that feeling of being used, of being abandoned - that cannot be deleted by the click of a mouse.
Dear Google, please revert your privacy changes - or, come March 1st, we will revert our default search engine.