Google Creates Privacy Dashboard

Published on

Google, which has had a bullseye on its back when it comes to Internet privacy, on Thursday launched a Web site that shows people what data Gmail, Google Calendar and more than a dozen other Google products store about them.

The company announced the service, called Google Dashboard, at a conference in Europe, where regulators have repeatedly pressured Google to cut back on how long it keeps logs of users’ search queries and other personal data.

The new service pulls together many controls Google has offered people for a while, such as the ability to see and delete their search history. It also allows users to quickly glance across the most recent Google documents they have opened, to see across other people they maybe sharing their Google calendar with and other data to remind them what Google keeps.

In a blog post, Google executives said the new service was designed to provide consumers “greater transparency and control over their own data.” “We are very aware of the trust you have placed in us, and our responsibility to protect your privacy and data,” they wrote.

Several privacy groups applauded Google’s commitment to giving people more control, while others said it didn’t go far enough.

John Simpson of consumer-advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog said the dashboard focuses on data that people have consciously shared with Google while they are logged into various Google accounts, but ignores all the data that Google collects and ties to a user’s computer address and through other software, known as cookies.

“The dashboard is really the appearance of control without giving users the ability to see how Google tracks them all over the place,” he said.

The new site is one of many Google has launched to open the curtain on its data-collection practices. Earlier this year, Google began allowing people to see what types of interests it associates with them based on what Web sites they visit, data it uses to help advertisers target their ads. The company also allows people to opt out of receiving targeted ads.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

Latest Videos

Latest Releases

In The News

Latest Report

Support Consumer Watchdog

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, press releases and special reports.

More Releases