Google has unveiled a new “Account Activity” page which can sum up who you’ve emailed, what devices you’ve used to access Google and even where you’ve been.
It’s an alarming insight into how much information a signed-in Google user actually hands over to the company — with the report offering a summary of what machines you use, who you email most, and even your location via Google Latitude, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.
The weekly report even tells you “how you spend your time per week” based on location information gleaned from GPS signals.
A post on the official Google blog this week said: “We want Google to work so well, it just blends into your life.”
“Today we’re introducing Account Activity, a new feature in your Google Account. If you sign up, each month we’ll send you a link to a password-protected report with insights into your signed-in use of Google services,” said the Google blog.
Andreas Tuerk, a Google product manager, described the new feature as something that “helps you better understand and manage your information on Google.” For example, Tuerk says Account Activity can help users see if anyone has been signing into their Google accounts on locations where they don’t visit or from devices they don’t own, and thus give them the ability to change their password to stop unauthorized use.
The Account Activity feature is part of Google’s broader effort to make sure users are more comfortable with the company’s new privacy policies that allow for sharing of user data across multiple Google services. Google has maintained that these new policies will benefit users by providing them with more relevant advertising that comes from a broader variety of data on a given user’s Internet behavior.
Google insists that it is not selling users’ data to outside parties and says that users can always sign out of their Google accounts if they don’t want their searches tracked and used for personalized advertising.