Google Apps News: Google gives users control over their digital privacy and security



Privacy and personal information are everyone’s concern in today’s digital age. Sharing pictures, downloading a new app, etc. can leave us with fears that we are leaking information online that we want kept private. And unfortunately for Internet users, it is neither obvious nor easy to manage personal information available to the World Wide Web. 

In fact, Google stated in a blog article that, “according to a recent Pew study, 93 percent of people think it’s important to control access to their personal information, and 90 percent care about the type of information that is collected from them. But only 9 percent feel they have ‘a lot’ of control over it. We want to change that.” 

Google, as a significant actor in the Big Data landscape, has recognized the importance for users to have control over their virtual privacy and security. With this in mind, Google has just introduced My Account (previously spread over several settings pages), a simple and unique “hub” where users with or without a Google account can “control, protect, and secure [their] account, all in one place”. 


What are the privacy and security improvements for internet users? 


Simply put by Google, “My Account gives you quick access to the settings and tools that let you safeguard your data, protect your privacy, and decide how your information can make Google tools and services work better for you.” 

Because privacy and security comes together, “if your information isn’t secure, it certainly can’t be private”. Through this powerful tool, users can simply understand and access settings from password settings, to add preferences and personalize their account. My account is composed of three different menus: Sign-in and security, Personal info, and Privacy and Accounts preferences. 

Additional noteworthy features include deciding exactly what user information is passed to Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and other products, and which are kept private, or what devices are logging into your account. In addition, Google offers transparency and allows the user to proceed through a quick and simple Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup. And although Google remains the master of the data out there, you can now tailor your ads preferences and tell Google what is more relevant for you based on your interests and past searches. 

The new dashboard is a step forward to give more control to users over the information they own. And all this to improve the user’s experience with Google and to give them the opportunity to make his own choices. 

And for those who are still afraid and wondering what Google really does with all those data, Google has released a new site privacy.google.com that addresses common questions about privacy and security on Google. The site also provides further information that can help users understand and make appropriate choices according to their needs. 




What are the implications for Google Apps for Work?


Google has announced that starting June 15th, “Google Apps for Work account owners will receive an email when we’re unable to determine if they’ve previously used a particular browser or device with their account.” In addition, recently used devices and recent new sign-ins will be clearly listed; this way, if something does not look right, actions can be taken immediately to secure the account.



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