Google lets users monitor their online activity

Mar 28, 2012

Google on Wednesday began letting people get monthly reports summarizing what they have been up to at the Internet titan's free online services.

A freshly-added feature keeps people posted on patterns at Gmail, , online search and other venues visited while signed into their with the California-based company.

"Sometimes it's helpful to step back and take stock of what you're doing online," Google product manager Andreas Tuerk said in a blog post announcing the "Account Activity" feature.

"Knowing more about your own account activity also can help you take steps to protect your Google Account."

He gave an example of a report potentially revealing that someone's account was signed into from countries they have not visited or from gadgets they don't own.

Google will incorporate more of its services into Account Activity reports in coming months, according to Tuerk.

Those who sign up with get password-protected links to reports and tools to manage account privacy.

The new feature was introduced the same month that Google rolled out a new privacy policy allowing the firm to track users across various services to develop targeted advertising, despite criticism from consumer advocacy groups.

Google contends the move simplifies and unifies its policies across its various services such as Gmail, YouTube, Android , Google+ social network and Internet search.

But critics including European privacy agencies and US consumer watchdogs argued the new policy, which offers no ability to opt out aside from refraining from signing into Google services, gives the Internet giant unprecedented ability to monitor its users. And some say it violates EU .

Google said the changes are designed to improve the user experience across the various products, and give the firm a more integrated view of its users, an advantage enjoyed by Apple and .

Explore further: Study shows role of media in sharing life events

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google rolls out new privacy policy amid howls

Mar 01, 2012

Google rolled out a new privacy policy Thursday allowing the firm to track users across various services to develop targeted advertising, despite sharp criticism from US and European consumer advocacy groups.

Google to merge user data across more services

Jan 24, 2012

Google Inc. is overhauling the way it treats user data, linking information across its array of email, video and social-networking services so that information gathered in one place can be used in another.

Google defends privacy plan to US lawmakers

Jan 31, 2012

Google, facing pressure from US lawmakers over a new privacy policy, said Tuesday it remains committed to protecting consumer data as it creates a "seamless and easy" Web experience.

S. Korea urges Google to improve privacy

Feb 28, 2012

South Korean regulators Tuesday voiced concerns over Google's controversial plan to merge user data from YouTube, Gmail, Google+ and other services in individual comprehensive profiles.

Google revising privacy policies, data use

Jan 25, 2012

Google said it is revising its privacy policies and changing how it uses data from users of its services to provide more personalized search results and advertisements.

Recommended for you

Study shows role of media in sharing life events

16 hours ago

To share is human. And the means to share personal news—good and bad—have exploded over the last decade, particularly social media and texting. But until now, all research about what is known as "social sharing," or the ...

UK: Former reporter sentenced for phone hacking

23 hours ago

(AP)—A former British tabloid reporter was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence Thursday for his role in the long-running phone hacking scandal that shook Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

Evaluating system security by analyzing spam volume

23 hours ago

The Center for Research on Electronic Commerce (CREC) at The University of Texas at Austin is working to protect consumer data by using a company's spam volume to evaluate its security vulnerability through the SpamRankings.net ...

Surveillance a part of everyday life

Jul 24, 2014

Details of casual conversations and a comprehensive store of 'deleted' information were just some of what Victoria University of Wellington students found during a project to uncover what records companies ...

European Central Bank hit by data theft

Jul 24, 2014

(AP)—The European Central Bank said Thursday that email addresses and other contact information have been stolen from a database that serves its public website, though it stressed that no internal systems or market-sensitive ...

Twitter admits to diversity problem in workforce

Jul 24, 2014

(AP)—Twitter acknowledged Wednesday that it has been hiring too many white and Asian men to fill high-paying technology jobs, just like several other major companies in Silicon Valley.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

vidyunmaya
not rated yet Mar 29, 2012
This is a reasonable good trend-set. Let us see
Graeme
not rated yet Mar 29, 2012
Callippo
not rated yet Mar 29, 2012
I'd rather prefer not to monitor this activity at all. For example, which contribution for users represents the manner of Google search engine, which doesn't provide a direct links, like the Bing and other indexers - but a virtual link, which cannot be copied? The only purpose of this annoying and traffic increasing "feature" is to monitor the activity of the people on the web. If nothing else, the people should be given an option, if they want to use the virtual links or not.