Andem - 5:34 am on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)
My feels echo that of HuskyPup.
Google used to be a company that really wanted to "not be evil". Within the past 2 or so years, their heavy-handedness has become disturbing and while GOOG used to be a really cool company, it has become extremely creepy. The transformation from cool to creepy kind of started after the original Google IPO back in 2004 and the company has become more and more pervasive. The pervasiveness of Google has been growing exponentially for years and now is when people are really started to realize that the coolness factor no longer outweighs the creepy factor. High-profile bloggers and some mainstream media are finally reporting this to the masses who normally don't realize these types of things.
Their PR people are actually really good when it comes to being mouthpieces for the company; unfortunately for GOOG, they have not been given the resources beyond an official blog to spread their 'reasoning' for the changes happening at the Plex (and with your personal data). It's all fine and great to say that 70 privacy policies and terms of service documents will now be combined respectively, but with so many services with different functions, combining these documents into a simplified and readable catch-all gives the Plex too much power.
With that said, I try to limit my usage of various Google services. Analytics were disabled a long time ago and I continue to use Gmail and Search (combined with Bing Search). My mobile phone runs Android, but I do run a customized OS (or ROM) which gives me more control over what services I use and what information is shared. Users running Android should be very very careful of checking every setting of every Google function on the phone: You *are* being tracked and your travel patterns will be connected to the profile Google has of you.
Personally, I was worried when I found out that my brand new Android phone (I purchased a day before I went on holidays) tracked me for over 2000km. It knew virtually every location I had visited over a 2 week period, everywhere we tanked for gas, each place we ate dinner and every hotel we slept at. I was almost sure I had disabled 'latitude' from the beginning, but obvious not. IMHO, this is the type of service that should be opted-into manually or by request, not by default. CREEPY!