The change worries privacy activists who argue that linking the different services would give Google the power to gather huge amounts of information about people, with no way for those individuals to opt out. US regulators also raised concerns, prompting Google to write a letter to the US Congress, explaining it was simply trying to make things easier for its users.
How will it affect you?
Google stressed that you won't be made to sign up for services you don't want. For example, you won't be forced to have a Google+ profile page to tie everything together. You can hold multiple accounts, such as one for Gmail and another for YouTube, if you want to keep your online identities separate. Also, any private data you have in Google accounts will stay private, and won't suddenly be made public.
What do we think?
For a company that has often got into hot water over privacy, Google doesn't seem to have learned its lesson. Like Facebook, Google needs to realize that once terms and conditions are agreed to, any changes can confuse, irritate and worry users.
Some people have called for the option to opt out, preferring their accounts not to be linked. However, that could be difficult for Google, as it has been steadily heading in the direction of linking up services, notably via Google+, which now even influences search results.