Blown To Bits

What Google has on you

Friday, November 6th, 2009 by Harry Lewis

Google has released a dashboard tool that makes it easy for you to review all the settings and preferences you’ve provided for the various Google products you use (Docs, YouTube, Gmail, etc.). The short video here shows you how to access it. (Basically, pull down the Settings menu in the top right of the Google home page, select Google Account Settings, and then select Dashboard and log in a second time.) It’s a bit sobering to see what you’ve told Google about yourself, and what documents of yours Google has, all in one place.

Of course, Google actually knows a lot more about you, or may, than what you’ve said in response to the various invitations it has given you to fill in forms. The Dashboard doesn’t reveal what Google may have concluded about you by retaining and analyzing your searches, for example. You can observe a lot by watching, as the great Yogi Berra said and Google knows better than anyone. The Dashboard gives you no information or control about the privacy threat from inferred data rather than explicit question answering.

For more, see the ComputerWorld article.

2 Responses to “What Google has on you”

  1. Natasha Lesser Says:

    Interesting, so on a practical note, what email service do you use that doesn’t ask/garner this much private info?

  2. Harry Lewis Says:

    Try Hushmail.