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Google Privacy Dashboard

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Security Help
 
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As I’m sure you already know, if you have any accounts with Google, (gmail, youtube, Google checkout, google docs, google calendar, igoogle, picasa web albums, google talk, etc.) Google keeps usage and data statistics on you. This fact has caused some people to say that Google knows to much about a user. Many people think that Google is infringing on their users’ privacy rights.

Well, awhile back Google announced a way for users to control and view some of the data that it collects. This area is called the Google privacy dashboard, and it allows you manage some of the information that you may not want Google to know.

After finding out about this option, I signed in with my Google account and checked it out. I have had my Google account for several years. I have email, contacts, chat, pictures, calendar and even web history stored with Google. All of this information was shown to me at the Google Privacy Dashboard.

While it seems like a lot of data, I honestly wasn’t shocked by it too much. There wasn’t anything on this page that I didn’t already know about. I knew that Google had all of this information in the first place, since I gave them permission to have it. The good news is that Google does allow you to manage it now. The dashboard will allow you to delete any info that you don’t want Google to have. It will also allow you to read the privacy policy on any of the data that they do have.

So overall, the Google Privacy Dashboard is a good step forward for Google to share what it knows about you. It is a centralized location with a summary of data. On the other hand, it doesn’t really reveal any Google secrets. Everything on the dashboard was information that I was well aware of. I know that I rely on Google to store a lot of my data, and I have no problem with that.

If you have a Google account and want to see what Google has collected about you, just head over to http://www.google.com/dashboard. You’ll be asked for your Google user name and password before you’ll be able to see anything. If you are like me and actually read the your privacy policies, I’m sure your won’t be too surprised by what you see.

Until next time, stay safe out there!

~Gary

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