Google Account Activity Generates A Monthly Summary Of Your Entire Google Account Usage

If you are too curious to know what Google knows about you and how much personal information of yours is stored on your Google account, here is some good news. Google has added a new opt-in service called “Account activity” – a periodical account summary which gives a thorough detail of what Google services you use everyday and how much Google knows about you. Account activity can be termed as an extension of Google dashboard; it can be used to monitor your entire Google account usage across all Google services under one umbrella.

Here is an example report which Google shared in their official blog post:


Account-Activity final

Account activity goes way beyond Google dashboard, which is in some ways limited to your Google account settings only. For example, account activity keeps a log of all the browsers you have been using recently, your sign in locations and the number of emails you have sent or received in the last 30 days. Additionally, Google will also show your web history, visited places and provide a quick overview of how you spend time with different Google services. This adds an extra layer of security to your Google account, as you will be able to know whether your account was used from an unknown device or from an unknown location.

It has been a few weeks since Google’s unified privacy policy was brought into effect. This new privacy policy gives Google the right to share your data between any Google service you are using. Gmail, YouTube, web search, Google Maps, Google Reader and your usage across all other Google products is tracked algorithmically, so that you can be served better. This account activity feature just makes the whole game a bit more transparent. Google has not mentioned any connection of account activity with the recent privacy policy changes but I am sure this is a way to make users feel more comfortable about their Google account. For your information, Google is not collecting any new data about you and neither Google is forcing this account activity feature for every Google account by default.

If you feel too paranoid about your data, you can of course use the very useful takeout service and export all your data out of Google. I haven’t got my report yet but looking at the sample, I think it is pretty basic and not as full featured as Google Analytics is. Of course I am not comparing the awesome site stats program with a private information outlet but I would be more excited, if the account activity page is more detailed in nature.  As it appears now, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

But then, something is better than nothing.

Published by

Amit Banerjee

Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee