Google Dashboard Improves Transparency for User Privacy

Nov 06, 2009

With its new dashboard, Google wants to improve its image as to user privacy and demonstrate more transparency and control.

With some bold ventures into privacy issues with the user conditions of its software and services in the past, Google has developed somewhat of a reputation as a data octopus. Whether or not the company was taking the subject seriously, or simply hoping that the user conditions weren't bothering anyone, hasn't been clear.

Fact is, Google is trying to win back some trust. One step along the way is its new Dashboard that the company announced yesterday, including in its blog. Under "My Account" at http://www.google.com/dashboard, registered Google users can now see what services are running and collecting data for the account. Google's Privacy Center is the initiative behind their latest move and includes a brief video on the Dashboard.

Each service listed is linked to its accompanying privacy policy. Some services allow control of settings. Unfortunately the possibility of a single mouse-click to remove all the data isn't provided. Users have to go to the individual services to remove blog entries, text and tables. As yet to be seen is whether Google is purging the deleted data from its servers or simply storing it in some kind of cache.

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