November 5th, 2009 | by Stan Schroeder
There’s no two ways about it: if you use a lot of Google services, then Google knows a lot about you. Google has received a solid amount of criticism because of this, and they’ve decided to alleviate the issue by launching Privacy Dashboard; a one-stop-shop with all the information that Google knows about you and your online habits collected in one place.
Dashboard covers more than 20 products and services, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Web History, Orkut, YouTube, Picasa, Talk, Reader, Alerts, Latitude and others. It’s quite a scary list; personally, I’m using all of these, and I was quite interested to see what exactly I’ve told Google about myself without even knowing.
Google calls the “scale and level of detail of the Dashboard unprecedented,” but I was a bit disappointed. The dashboard is nothing more than a selected list of privacy-related settings from the services listed above. You can find some interesting tidbits of info about your various Google account that you may have forgotten. For example, you can see which calendars you’ve shared with other people. But all of this info was already available in the Calendar settings.
Sure, it’s nice to have all these in one place, should you ever want to review all your private information stored at Google at once, but there’s nothing really new about this list; you could even call it a privacy-related compilation. Unfortunately, it’s also an unpleasant reminder of just how much data you’re giving out to Google (and other online services).
You can find the dashboard over at google.com/dashboard, or by login into your Google account, clicking on Settings, choosing “Google Account Settings” from the dropdown, and then clicking on the link next to “Dashboard”.