Google Dashboard lifts curtain on stored data

A new page off user's Google Account settings lets them review all the data the company has stored regarding that account, and make changes or delete data.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
2 min read
Google Dashboard lets Google users review and delete personal data stored by the company. Screenshot by Tom Krazit/CNET

Google is proving to be well aware of the uneasiness among the public over the increasing amount of data it stores from users of its services.

Google is launching Google Dashboard, a service that lets you log into a console and see all the personal data that the company maintains on a Google Account user across all its products, from Gmail and YouTube to Blogger and Picasa. It allows users to log into the settings page of their Google account and review links to the personal data stored by Google across many of its products from a single Web page.

Users can delete data, change privacy settings, and read the privacy policies from various accounts on that page, which is scheduled to go live Thursday. Google had been prebriefing news outlets on the announcement, but a YouTube video outlining the service was somehow published on Google's Privacy Channel on YouTube and spotted by the Google Operating System blog.

One of the overarching themes with regards to Google this year has been the increasing discomfort among both the public and the government with the degree to which Google has grown to dominate the Internet. With nearly two-thirds of all Internet searches passing through its servers and growing numbers of people using its Google Docs, Gmail, and YouTube services, Google is a vital gateway to information for Internet users.

Google has tried to placate critics, recently emphasizing that it tries very hard to let users export any data they enter into one of Google's products through the work of the Data Liberation Front. Dashboard is another step in that direction as Google tries to emphasize that users have control over the data it stores on them.