Google and Facebook might have finally gotten the average consumer riled up about privacy.

For the past two years, each company has experimented with different ways to divine more and more about how people live their lives on the Internet, without sparking a revolt.

But the plans the rivals announced this week, which critics say could dramatically rev up their respective abilities to gather intelligence on individual Internet users, seem to have struck a chord.

An informal and unscientific survey of Web users by USA Today found a majority speaking out against the new business practices announced by Google and Facebook.

"It's dangerous for two companies to have so much personal data, regardless of whether the specific threats of that data consolidation are immediately clear," said Sarah Downey, a privacy analyst at software maker Abine.

Compelled to tap what many experts predict will be the next big Internet motherlode - online advertising - Google and Facebook laid down very big bets, during a week when European regulators are hashing out strict new rules that could prevent much of what the tech giants seek to do.

Google signalled its intent to begin correlating data about its users' activities across all of its most popular services and across multiple devices. The goal: to deliver those richer behaviour profiles to advertisers.

Likewise, Facebook announced it will soon make Timeline - the new, glitzier user interface for its service - mandatory.

Timeline is designed to chronologically assemble, automatically display and make globally accessible the preferences, acquaintances and activities for most of Facebook's 800 million members.

Combined with the addition last week of some 60 apps specifically written for Timeline, consumers can provide a detailed account, often in real time, of the music they listen to, what they eat, where they shop - even where they jog...