Attorneys general from 36 states told Google CEO Larry Page they are concerned by the company's plan to start combining information about signed-in users across a variety of products and services, including Gmail, Android, and YouTube.
When Google announced the new policy, the company said that signed-in users would have no ability to opt out of the data combination. But the company also said that it won't aggregate data about people who aren't signed in. Likewise people can avoid aggregation by using different browsers for different functions, or avoiding Google altogether.
But that latter option isn't always realistic -- as the law enforcement officials point out. "The clear majority of all Internet users use -- and frequently rely on -- at least one Google product on a regular basis," the officials write. "For users who rely on Google products for their business ... avoiding this information sharing may mean moving their entire business over to different platforms, reprinting any business cards or letterhead that contained Gmail addresses, re-training employees on web-based sharing and calendar services, and more."
The law enforcement officials have asked Page to respond by Feb. 29 -- one day before Google implements the new policy.
When Google announced its new policy, the company said that the revisions would simplify matters for consumers and also allow Google to personalize ads and services.
The group is calling for an FTC investigation and says that Google should delay the March 1 rollout.
For its part, Google said in a statement that its new policy "will make our privacy practices easier to understand," and "reflects our desire to create a seamless experience for our signed-in users."
The company added, "We’ve undertaken the most extensive notification effort in Google’s history, and we’re continuing to offer choice and control over how people use our services services. Of course we are happy to discuss this approach with regulators globally."