Google Dashboard was unveiled today, allowing users to track some of the information Google has stored on them. The service comes as a response to mounting concerns over how the company uses consumer data, and offers a clearer insight into which data is stored and used by programs such as Gmail.
Rather than a brand new service, Dashboard instead consolidates data already available within the different programs that it tracks. Essentially then a listing service, Dashboard redirects users to the settings functions of programs such as Blogger, Gmail and iGoogle, allowing users to then modify the data stored therein.
What remains unclear however is how the data is used by Google. Google themselves admit that users should expect that data could be used to shape advertising.
“To most folks, I think that there is a general expectation that even when we launch a product that doesn’t have a clear business model associated with it, there’s a possibility that advertising could be associated in some way,” said Google’s business product manager for Trust & Safety, Shuman Ghosemajumder.
More features, such as Book Search and AdWords, are set to feature in later versions.