tedster - 2:00 am on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
I don't know about the ranking team, but there is a pretty good case that the webspam team uses GA to evaluate websites: [webmasterworld.com...]
As I read it, that thread is about Google using one Analytics account ID applied across many domains to link their treatment of those domains, but it's not about using the analytics data itself in ranking, and that is the issue.
Here's one more reason I think Google would be nuts to use analytics data. If you want to start hacking around with your analytics tagging, you can pretty much dummy up any data that you want to.