Thursday, November 12, 2009

Google Dashboard; more convenience than transparency

Some news headlines are touting Google Dashboard as a step towards transparency concerning the data that Google is collecting on you. After some research on the product (including using it for myself), it seems to be nothing more than a simple web page that lists all of the Google products that your account has activated with links to configuration pages for those products as well as some summary information.

Open Boston Media has a good review of the product that seems to put things in perfect context. This is certainly a convenience, but hardly worth labeling "transparency". As some have pointed out, this seems more like conditioning people for a single-sign-on experience which will either encourage people to use more of Google's existing services or be more likely to opt in for future services (or probably both).

Nonetheless, it can be useful for people who use a Google account to see what is publicly visible. Check it out for yourself and you just might discover that more about you was available than you first thought.

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