Google Account Privacy Updates Look To Clarify Controls

Google wants to make it simple to use its privacy controls and settings, so it is rolling out a redesign for Account, a dashboard that allows users to log in to security features, check on privacy settings, and discover and control data that Google creates for every person logged in to its services. 

Android users will see them first, with iOS and web users to follow later this year.

The move could change ad targeting and budget allocations for advertisers as more users stop glazing over with the fine print and actually spend time understanding the ins and outs of privacy controls for Google services. 

Jan Hannemann, product manager of Google Account, announced the updates in a blog post Thursday. “We’ve introduced a new search functionality that enables you to find settings and other info you might be looking for in your account, like how to change your password,” she wrote. “When you have a problem but don't quite know what to look for, you can access a new dedicated support section as well.”

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The support section features help with common tasks such as upgrading account storage and getting answers from community experts. A section also explains how to change privacy setting.The hope is the changes will provide easy access to Activity controls in the Data & Personalization tab that let users find and choose changes to the account.

Hannemann explains how the changes to Google Account builds upon changes made earlier this year. Google also will send “prominent notices” when it detects something the user can can do to improve their security. For example, Google might suggest removing an account from an old device that is no longer in use or removing apps previously granted access to the user's account data.

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