Google centralises privacy control

As Google's dominance continues, it gives users a dashboard for to manage their settings one place. With the new Google Dashboard, the personal data and product settings of different Google products are combined on one side to make it simpler for users to deal with them. The feature, which has just been launched, looks like a console for your personal data. Now you can do what Google can do too, as it links from one place to the data stored on different Google sites. And yes, it does make it easier to manage your personal data.

Users can change their privacy settings, delete data on the dashboard, or read the privacy policies from various accounts instead of looking for them everywhere. "We think of this as a great step, and we hope this helps shape the way the industry thinks about data transparency and control," said Alma Whitten, the Google software engineer for security and privacy.

Because Google is one of the most important gateways to information, with the new feature the frenemy is obviously answering the growing public discomfort about its dominance of the internet. Most internet searches are passing on the servers of the quasi-monopoly, and a growing number of people are using more and more Google products as YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps and Google Docs become more and more popular.

So the dashboard makes Google's strong position transparent, but it enables users at the same time to overview their own data. "The speed and scale of the growth of the internet has opened an important conversation about individuals' control and ownership of their data; we hope the Dashboard helps push forward the way we think about answering these questions," explains Whitten.

Indeed, Google emphasises users' control over their data for a while now. In September it announced that Google products are becoming part of the Data Liberation Front, which is aimed at letting users export any data stored on Google products. Google Dashboard, which was developed in Munich and Zurich, can be accessed at or in the settings page of the Google Account.

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