Google Launches Privacy Dashboard

   

Google Launches Privacy Dashboard ...

Google today launched Google Dashboard, a tool that enables users with a Google account to view & control some of the data Google stores concerning their behaviour when using Google services.

The dashboard covers your use of most the Google products (Docs, Blogs, Reader) and of course your Google search history.

When you first login to this tool you're immediately struck by the shear volume of search history Google has stored. Looking at your entire search history (web, images, maps, products, adwords links etc) going back several years certainly brings home that your behaviour online isn't quite as private as you might think.

By default Google doesn't have your personal details (name, address etc) so anonymity is still preserved, but for those who are concerned the dashboard allows users to clear their history or pause data collection. If you choose to clear or pause, Google states in it's dashboard FAQ that this data is removed from Google Services (e.g SERPS wont consider your search behaviour when displaying results) but is still stored in it's data logs.

There's no evidence yet of this dashboard displaying data from any tracking products that exist outside its core services (e.g. Google Analytics, Feedburner or Doubleclick), I would speculate that this isn't possible as it's likely that these systems are physically separated.

It's great to see Google opening up on web privacy in this way and being prepared to educate it's users on the realities of using a global web portal for their internet services. If anything it'll probably result in more people creating a Google account in order to keep track of their data.

   

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