Google Shows You What It Knows about You
With the new Google Dashboard, Google has taken another step towards transparency about how it uses all the information it collects about you and which you give it to store. The single location shows a summary of data stored for most services Google operates associated with a particular account of yours (I have two for structural and historical reasons).
Each service shows a summary of top-line information, such as the various email addresses associated with a Google Account or settings for your Google calendar, and then links to management features and the privacy and/or security policies for the service.
While this doesn’t address all the issues about the mammoth amount of data collection and storage Google undertakes, it’s a nice way to see at a glance what we’ve let the company do – and, with a few clicks, wipe some of that information off its books.
What if you don't have any Google "accounts"? I don't! But I'd be interested what they have picked up just through web-crawling, snooping, back-channel information sales, etc...
At the moment, it shows only information associated with your Google account. Google talks more about what's explicitly not associated with your account for privacy reasons here:
The new Dashboard doesn't work with Leopard or Snow Leopard. What use is it?
I just accessed it via Firefox running under Leopard.
Runs fine with Safari under Snow Leopard 10.6.2.
Very useful to know about this.
I find it odd that my web history on the google dasboard shows almost none of my websearches, and the ones it does show are very old. Months old.
I don't see Web history as a category at all, which leads me to believe it's an option somewhere in the depths of Google that I never turned on. Perhaps you turned it on, realized you didn't want it tracking your searches, and turned it off?
No, it's enabled. It's not as out of date as I thought. I didn't realize at first that it was listing categories of searches, so when I saw things from September and May, I thought it was way out of date, but those were specific searches for 1) videos 2) Blogs.
I find the web search history to be very very useful, when I remember to use it.