Data helps improve our products, keep them safe, and—with your permission—tailor them to match your interests.
But those interests, and how you want them to shape your Google experience, are constantly changing. That’s why we build powerful, easy-to-use tools that enable you to adjust your privacy preferences, anytime. We’re constantly working to refine these tools based on your feedback. In 2016 alone, we asked 4,000+ people from more than 15 countries around the world to tell us how they feel about privacy and security. This kind of feedback helps us build thoughtful products that cater to your needs.
Today, we’re announcing a refresh of the Google Dashboard, one of the first places people visit to see the products they use and the data associated with them. It will launch everywhere beginning next week. We also have some updates on the trends we’re seeing across our existing privacy tools and controls.
Making it easier to use Google Dashboard
Google Dashboard launched in 2009 to give you a snapshot of the Google products you use, all in one place. You could review your Google activity in the last month, see how many emails, docs and photos you have, and get answers to questions about Gmail settings. Dashboard also offered quick access to select product settings and related help center articles.
But as we built new tools like My Account and My Activity, it became clear that we needed to better integrate Dashboard into our other privacy controls. It should always be easy for you to make meaningful decisions about your data—and we decided we could do better.
In the coming days, we’ll be rolling-out a brand new version of the Google Dashboard. Here’s how it looks:
The Google Dashboard before (left) and after (right) the update
We re-designed Dashboard from the ground up. The most important change was to improve usability on touchscreens, ensuring Dashboard works well on any device. We also worked to make it easier to see an overview of the Google products you use and your data in each of them. And we made the process for downloading data much easier.
Powerful privacy controls that work for you
You may not use them every day, but our privacy controls are there whenever you need them. And we’re happy to see that they’ve proven to be useful for many people, each with their own needs.
Last year, we launched My Activity to provide a single, private destination where you can see how you’ve used our services. More than 150 million people have used My Activity to track down that funny video they watched, remember the obscure search that pointed them to that fascinating news article, and much more. Of course, if you want to delete any of your items in My Activity, you can. You—and only you—can view and control the information in My Activity.
Our My Account launch in 2015 included the Privacy Checkup, a simple tool for controlling your data across Google and updating the personal information you share and make public. We’re pleased to report that the checkup has been popular: Tens of millions of Google users around the world have used it to help suit their privacy preferences. My Account has also proven popular with and valuable to our users, with hundreds of millions of visitors every year.
In 2011, we created “Takeout,” now known as “download your data,” to enable anyone to download a copy of their data or export their information out of Google. Since then, users have downloaded more than one exabyte of data, and today we see more than 1 million exports every month. You can already move your data directly to OneDrive and Dropbox, and we’ll soon add Box and other options as well.
In 2009, we launched our ads preferences manager, now called Ads Settings. This is a powerful dashboard where you can control how we tailor ads to you, across the web and on YouTube. The tool has more granular controls as well. For example, if you only want to see ads related to certain types of categories, like sports or entertainment, you can add those categories and remove others.
Building tools that help people understand the data stored with their Google Account and control their privacy is a constantly evolving effort. We’ll never stop working to refine and improve. To learn more about our commitment to protect your privacy, visit privacy.google.com.
Posted by Greg Fair, Product Manager