Google wants to know everything about even iPhone users: “What Google really wants is for everybody to be signed in to their Google accounts all the time.”
Regulators—who Google said in that post had ”been calling for shorter, simpler privacy policies”—quickly realized what the changes meant. European authorities opened an investigation into the new policy, calling it a breach of EU law. More than two years later, many cases remain unresolved. France and Spain have both slapped fines on Google, though the combined €1.05 million ($1.45 million today) is roughly as much as the revenue Google will make in the time it takes you read this article. The investigation is ongoing in another four countries, including Germany. . . .
Keeping you signed in on all apps fills this gap in Google’s knowledge. But just as importantly, it makes a big difference to how the company measures whether ads—the lion’s share of its business—are working.
For example, you may have seen an ad for something on YouTube on your phone, looked it up using the Amazon app on your tablet, and eventually bought it on your computer. Unless you were logged into YouTube when you first saw the ad, Google can’t tell if the sale was a result of the ad, and can’t prove to advertisers—who spend half their mobile budgets with Google—that the money was well spent. It also can’t tell if it’s shown you the same ad over and over again to no effect—information it could use to target ads better. . . .