In an effort to provide you with greater transparency and control over their own data, we’ve built the Google Dashboard. Designed to be simple and useful, the Dashboard summarizes data for each product that you use (when signed in to your account) and provides you direct links to control your personal settings.
Right now, they offer information about 20 products and they will add other products in the future. Here is a video about Google Dashboard.
Let me offer some of my initial thoughts on this below.
- Essentially, this is like a FBI file of someone’s Google activities. From this interface, users can check out everything from their Google Docs activity to Google Reader activity like how many starred feeds to Orkut activities to Youtube activities.
- This is not something pathbreaking. We had all these information in different places in the Google ecosystem. This dashboard just aggregates them into a single unified interface.
- I found it odd that it didn’t show me any info about Google Friend Connect even though I have been using this email ID on some blogs.
- Looking at the dashboard, the users can get an idea about part of what Google stores about you. It doesn’t give out everything in their Google life. Also, it doesn’t talk about the cookies stored on your computers.
- It also doesn’t talk about the kind of intelligence it gleans from the users data. Without knowing what Google does with their data, users cannot figure out whether it intrudes into their privacy or not.
- Unlike many other vendors, Google is, at least, trying to show that it is transparent. There is no way for us to gauge how transarent they are because their service is based on proprietary algorithm.
- This dashboard also allows a single point of entry for bad guys and feds. Once they have an user’s Google password, they just have to visit this dashboard to glean everything about the user.
- I just hope that Google offers the users a way to completely delete all their data from all the Google servers.
Well, it is too early to either embrace it as the beacon of transparency and user empowerment or dismiss it as privacy nightmare. As it is the case with Google products, this will evolve. We will have to wait and see where it ends up finally.