The latest smartphone update released by Google sounds like it’s engineered to make your virtual life a lot simpler by logging you into all of your Google apps at once. What it actually does is track more of your personal data and allow for better targeting than ever before.
In the newest Gmail app update for Apple’s iOS 7 iPhone operating system, a change was built into the sign-in feature that automatically links your account to every other Google app on your phone. From now on, whether you want or not, signing into any app including Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Drive or Chrome signs you into all of them simultaneously and automatically.
“Sign in to one, and you’ll be signed in to all,” Google said in a short post on its Gmail blog. “So you won’t have to type in that 27-character password or retrieve your 2-step verification code every time you navigate to another Google app. You may need to re-login after you update the app, but then you’ll be all set.”
The sign-in link makes it drastically more convenient for Google to track and link all online data and activity to every individual user, and “fills [the] gap in Google’s knowledge” when smartphone users are signed into Gmail but shop on Chrome or watch a video on YouTube anonymously, for example.
Quartz reports that 86 percent of smartphone use time is spent on apps, and 14 percent in the phone’s Web browser.
Such knowledge allows Google to engage in more effective targeted advertising by correlating where and how it showed users ads, and if they influenced subsequent purchases — highly sought-after information for giant Silicon Valley advertisers, according to Quartz.
“In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.”
France and Spain fined Google, and four other EU countries including Germany have launched ongoing investigations into Google’s data privacy breaches of European law.