Reno - 6:07 am on Feb 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
The fact is, the security agencies within the US government are looking carefully at anyone these days who still believes they have a right to privacy, and you can bet the farm that behind-the-scenes they are vigorously sending that same signal to the PTB at Google. So while I commend Google for providing some mechanism for protecting at least a modicum of privacy, I have no doubt the pressure is on them to not make it easy, so we should not be surprised if an "opt out option" goes away sooner rather than later.
Does that sound extreme? Go to the source ~ read the FBI's own pdf:
Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities
What Should I Consider Suspicious?
"People Who: Are overly concerned about privacy ... Use of anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address..."
Read the... FBI Memo [info.publicintelligence.net]
Yeah, this memo is about Internet cafes, but it's coming to a room in your house in the near future. The trajectory is obvious, and our grandchildren will someday ask us "what exactly was privacy?"