Google Dashboard: Simplicity, transparency and control. Is that right?
They say a cheetah earns its prey through speed, and a crocodile through its patience. Hopefully you won’t be confronted with either of the two, but all the technophiles using all these online services should at least keep their minds open to vulnerabilities of their personal information stored online. And if that makes up for a teaser, let’s move our attention to the Google Dashboard, now accessible for your Android devices.
According to Google, the Dashboard offers a simple view into the data related your Google account, offering ‘transparency and control’. It summarizes the data concerning each product used (covering over 20 products and services like Gmail, Calendar, Docs, YouTube, etc.) while the user is signed in to the account, providing links to adjust personal settings.
All your information on one page
Basically, it is quite a useful tool for staying updated with the information Google has stored in its range of different products for you. So, from your dashboard you can see which devices of yours are registered with Google and which applications within those devices have back up stored on Google’s servers. However, most of the information on the Dashboard can be seen but there aren’t a lot of options available there as to what you want to do with that information.
For example, you can choose to hide particular devices on the Play Store but they will still appear on your dashboard. Similarly, you can check which apps have backups created on Google Dashboard but there isn’t an option to restore them using the same interface.
What exactly is a back up?
The idea of a backup, even though alluded to here, is also not clear in this service as the list of apps that have backups is but only a short one. For example, a tester’s two main devices, a phone and tab have only 7 backups listed, most of them being from Google of course. The reason for this issue is simple, either these app back ups are meant for considerably narrow functionality or not many developers choose to use Google’s services to synchronize and back up application data.
Without having a consistent definition of back up here, the measure of utility from this service remains rather ambiguous. Nonetheless, it still helps Google fans knowing that the information is added to its rightful place. Still, the question rising from the lack of popularity of this service is “Why?” What could possibly explain why developers do not seem particularly fond of using Google’s services for backup purposes and more so what are the security concerns regarding the usage of such a service.
But…the million dollar “But”!
The catch is here, yes the one that we have all been waiting for since the start of this discussion or at least the few of us who still remember it. Well, of course there is a turn in every story, or at least the good ones, and while considering Google’s endeavors in the past it should not come off as much of a surprise. Transparency and control are the keywords here and if Google promises the two, these two it shall deliver. But the more important question is to whom? We all witnessed the mayhem regarding Street View Data which by the way is still subject for intense discussion between Google and British authorities and can easily recall more than one instances of common users’ privacy being breached by Google’s over-ambitious efforts.
With the CISPA legal provision, not just some distant company officials but even the government authorities can be monitoring all your personal data, from your personal and protected dashboard of course. If I were a hacker I’d consider android spy apps and computer monitoring software obsolete with this service provided by our very own goliath Google, because if a hacker makes it in, it’s party time! I am all for Google zealotry, don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t trust myself with a host of users’ personal information, that Google has been known to share with third party advertisers. Don’t take my word for it, just watch your online habits and decide intelligently.
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