Nov 08, 2012

How many people actually review their Google Account Activity Report?

I like to think of myself as being pretty pro-privacy. As a user of quite a few Google services (gmail, maps, search, play, youtube, etc,) I signed up right away when Google made a monthly activity report available to show how Google was tracking me. So I looked at it the 1st month, glanced at it on month 2, and have deleted it ever since. I just got another one today, and I haven't so much as glanced at it, probably never will. Many of us talk a lot about concerns over privacy, including me, but I have to wonder, when we are given a window that shows us what type of information is being gathered, how many of us actually care enough to actually review it?

I doubt many people even know about it, nevermind actually check it. Most casual users don't seem to pay much, if any, attention to such things. Social media and other nuisance distractions take up too much of their time and attention.

No idea, but the thing about the GAAR!!!! (my "cool" sounding name for the Google Account Activity Report..) is that it validates my privacy settings.  I use an Android phone, so Google is pretty integrated into my waking life.  That means that all my searches, my SMSs, photos, where I go and when I go there are all potentially under Google's all-seeing eye.  My activity report shows that my privacy settings basically limit that information to the number of people who have watched my YouTube videos, how many emails I send and receive, and my most common email contacts.  Beyond that it's pretty blank, and the small amount of other info is pretty meaningless and inaccurate.  For example, Google thinks (through Latitude) that I spend 2 hours a week at work.  Yeah, right.  


I think it is worth checking.  I look once a month when the email reminds me about it.  More companies should make it easy to see what kind of information they are gathering about you.  While I still have privacy concerns, I appreciate that Google makes it more transparent that most companies.  Of course, they have much greater access to that information than other companies, so they should be more transparent, IMHO. Kinda the whole great power, great responsibility concept.


I don't know about others but I do regularly (weekly basic) check my Google Account Activity Report. 

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