Google Dashboard Provides Data Transparency to Users

Google Dashboard

In a bid to calm privacy critics, the new Google Dashboard offers users more control over the data and settings associated with their account, according to a post on the company's blog by software engineer Alma Whitten, product manager Yariv Adan, and Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience.

"With hundreds of millions of people using those products around the world, we are very aware of the trust that you have placed in us, and our responsibility to protect your privacy and data," wrote the trio.

Meanwhile, online data breaches have led consumers to call for more control over their personal information online. With Google's breadth and high stature in the market, Google Dashboard could become a platform on which to build.

"Transparency, choice and control have become a key part of Google's philosophy, and today, we're happy to announce that we're doing even more," wrote the trio in the blog.

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Online privacy rules have become a hot topic globally. Earlier this week, the European Commission said it may take the United Kingdom to court to better protect consumers' online privacy.

Currently, the U.K. allows for the interception of some messages if there are reasonable grounds or if an individual has opted in to have his or her messages intercepted.

Google Dashboard provides a summary and direct links for each Google product you use, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, YouTube, Picasa and more. The dashboard includes links to the privacy policy for each product.

The tool allows users more customization for each product they use. For example, individuals can choose to never save their chat histories if they choose, according to a video posted on the blog, and there are more transparent options to save or delete other forms of data too, such as videos you've watched on YouTube, according to Google.

The Dashboard covers more than 20 Google tools, such as Web History, Orkut, Talk, Reader, Alerts, Latitude in addition those previously mentioned.

"The scale and level of detail of the Dashboard is unprecedented, and we're delighted to be the first Internet company to offer this — and we hope it will become the standard," according to the Google blog.