Google is often criticised of being a Big Brother of sorts. This criticism is not completely unwarranted as every time you use Google (or one of their services) you are providing the search engine with information about your online behaviour.
In order to alleviate some of the concern user’s may have Google is launching a “Privacy Dashboard”. This will provide each user with all the information that Google has accumulated in regards to their online user patterns.
So how exactly does this new service work and what can it do for you?
The new dashboard covers more than twenty of Google’s services including Gmail and YouTube. Depending on how many Google services you utilise, you may be surprised at the level and type of information you have given away without being completely aware of!
Having used the Privacy Dashboard myself, I must admit I was a little underwhelmed. Despite Google’s claim that the “scale and level of detail of the Dashboard is unprecedented,” most of the information Google claims that you can now access is actually already available. The true benefit of this new service lies in the fact that you can review your private information stored by Google all in the one place and so this will work to maximise your time.
So what is Google doing to protect your privacy?
This asked in light of Google’s own admission that “Google reads your Gmail account once in a while.” Further, it’s also important to remember that by giving Google our data in the first place, we also give them our permission to do as they see fit with it.
However, this blogger believes that this new service is only letting the user know what information Google already has about their behaviour. This is no cause for alarm as many of Google’s new service offerings and updates have only happened as a result of the data they have collected. Further, if Google’s data collection helps to aid their search function – which in turn will serve users – then the benefits will definitely out way any perceived negativity.