Google Account Activity tells you all they know

Mar 29, 2012
5

This month Google is showing off their newest opt-in service known as Account Activity, a service capable of showing you everything the group knows about your signed-in activities. Google services of course work their way into several daily activities of people like you and I, and certainly knowing everywhere I logged in from as well as all the YouTube videos I've ever watched could be entertaining - but that's not what the service is for, says Google. Account Activity is Google's way of helping you "step back and take stock of what you're doing online" in an analytical way.

Once you sign up for Account Activity, your actions do not show up tracked all the way back to the first time you ever started clicking on Google products. For example my first Account Activity report only features numbers as far back as the 28th of February, just one month ago. New reports will be available for me periodically, with Google keeping these reports static once they're made available to me.

What you're seeing above is just the parts of the first report I've received that have any activity in them at all. Included are Authentication Changes, this including me moving back and fortha cross emails, changing passwords to Google applications, and adding sites, apps, and services to my roster - the "1" is my addition of Account Activity. There's also Account Sign-in locations, browsers, and Platforms - this last one missing iOS I can see now. Gmail shows just browser-based activity from what I can see, and yes I do receive that many emails on a regular basis - and as you can see, I do have some spam destroying to do.

YouTube shows that the videos I personally have uploaded have had 17k views - this account of course is not SlashGear's YouTube Channel which has one whole heck of a lot more than that. The most popular video I uploaded was a Nokia Pure View video clip, and viewers to my channel are apparently coming in from the USA and Finland the most - Metal fans?

Below this line there are two more categories which have not been filled for me at this moment, one being Google Latitude, the other being Web History. I imagine these two categories will be great wake-up calls for folks feeling tracked or not quite as private as they though they were on the web whilst working with Google.

You can access Account Activity by heading to https://www.google.com/settings/activity and signing up for the Beta trial - and note one of the most powerful uses of this system as stated by Google:

Knowing more about your own account activity also can help you take steps to protect your Google Account. For example, if you notice sign-ins from countries where you haven’t been or devices you’ve never owned, you can change your password immediately and sign up for the extra level of security provided by 2-step verification.

Never not watching for the win!

[via Google]


Must Read Bits & Bytes