Law in the Internet Society
If you are a frequent Google user and have not done so already, try accessing your Google Dashboard, which provides a limited view of the data that Google collects regarding your online activities. Google recently launched this new "service" in an effort to respond to privacy concerns. If you are a person with "no secrets," does the sight of your own aggregated browsing history change how you think about what might be worth keeping private?

-- StephenClarke - 06 Nov 2009

I think that you were driving at this Stephen, but I would like to add my two cents. Dashboard has been well received around the net. It "enhances privacy control," "tackles transparency," and will let you control some of your data. Google trumpets "transparency, choice, and control!" Even the skeptical Slashdot implies that it will answer the (internet) age old question of "what does Google know about you?"

While I am all for Google giving us back the information we all leak into the net, I am not sure that Dashboard does. Conceivably, knowing that you have 184 pictures on Picassa and 4,398 Gmail messages and 7,032 chats may make you more cautious, or cause you to delete that picture or video you forgot (and regret) that you put up - and that is good. But I think at the same time it might misinform. Google says "this is the information we have on you, see, you had nothing to worry about. We're transparent!" And we buy it. Again. Sure, if you subscribe to the "web history" application you can view what pages Google knows that you've viewed while you were logged in. But you can't view or delete the other things that Google tracks about you even when you are not signed in. I'm with Mr. Simpson: "what (Dashboard) doesn’t do is let you know and control the data directly tied to your computer’s IP address, which is Google’s black box and data mine. Google isn’t truly protecting privacy until it lets you control that information.” I would add that Google isn't truly being transparent either.

-- JustinColannino - 07 Nov 2009

As you correctly presumed, I agree with your comments regarding the merits of Dashboard. Reviewing one's own Google web search history does, however, provide an opportunity to start thinking about what such data it might reveal to a party who is desperately interested in analyzing it. It is all too easy to wrongly assume that we are anonymous and, therefore, autonomous because no one is interested in what we do.

-- StephenClarke - 07 Nov 2009



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r5 - 07 Sep 2011 - 00:49:56 - IanSullivan
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