This consolidation will allow Google to easily share privacy data for a specific user among its various sites and services – Google search, Google+, YouTube, etc. The consolidated data will also allow Google to direct advertisements on one Google service based on content viewed through a different Google service.
Google is selling these changes as a way to tailor overall experiences – search, advertisements, content, etc. – to specific users.
Some members of congress aren't sure that it's as simple as Google has made it out to be. House Reps. Bono Mack (R-Cal.) and G.K. Butterfield (D.-N.C.) requested a briefing on the new policies in a letter written to Larry Page, Google's CEO. While these Representatives have lauded the "shorter, simpler, streamlined policy," they have concerns over how user data will be collected, stored, and secured. They are also concerned with the lack of an opt-out in the new policies.
Google has responded by saying that the new policies do not collect any new data and that users would still be able to control their privacy settings. The company also expressed its understanding about concerns and expressed an eagerness to clarify any "misconceptions about our privacy policies."
Sounds like Google is finally coming to understand it can't act like a startup by ignoring Washington, DC when it has grown to the gargantuan that it has become.