Google Dashboard – what does Google see in you?

The Google Dashboard has launched giving you a single column look into your life as published through Google.  I express my unhappiness in the launch below.  While the UI is plain as we would expect Google to do, it is full of information and it growing to encompass all of their services (they state that 16 of the services are not yet on the Dashboard itself).  The list itself is quite long:

  • Accounts
  • Voice
  • Blogger
  • Alerts
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • FriendConnect
  • Gmail
  • Latitude
  • Picasa
  • and yes more..

The point is not the long list, it is Google showing you what you have hooked together and how their sites interact.  It indicates what is public versus private and how you appear across the great chasm.  Each area allows you to manage the profile show or privacy settings under each area with icon indicators for publicly shared data —> Be very aware of this icon in the data you have being shown to you.

What section you should next pay special attention to is your Google search history.  Including images.  This lets you know that you have enabled tracking for your Google history.  I know corporations are worried about what data is being shared out to the Internet but this individual dashboard won’t be visible to anyone but the account owner.  All the benefit goes to the individual.

Now Google was quite excited about what the dashboard itself would offer, and I agree with Mashable on this one in that it is nothing more than an unflattering UI that makes a list of certain things instead of being a workable dashboard (a la Gist for contacts).  Google could have really done something here to make a united view that became a portal for my Google activity.  Including allowing me to add Google Apps accounts and widgets.  Instead of just a simple iGoogle page for gadgets, I would have an account interaction, not management screen.

They could have also added a sweeping privacy control ability as they bring the authentication and profiling closer together across the sites themselves.  The ability to make a single click selection of all sites and change a picture, hide an email address, open it to everyone or anything else might make this worthwhile.

My grade?  A 3 out of 10.  It was heading towards 2 but I know they had to write hooks into each system to pull and show you the data itself.