Google has announced a handful of updates to its security and privacy dashboard to help users “more easily navigate” their Google Account and find the controls to manage and fine-tune their privacy settings.
The new interface is officially launching from today on Android, though it has already been rolling out gradually, as noted by some online reports. The company said the refreshed interface will be landing on the web and iOS later this year.
How it looks
The new layout is designed to better present existing information and is based on Google’s Material Design language.
You’ll see four tabs along the bottom — Account, Search, Support, and Menu. The main Account section is where you’ll find your personal information (name, birthday, contact info, phone number, etc), while the Data & Personalization tab lets you control all facets of your privacy, such as location history, web activity, YouTube viewing history, and more. There’s also a Security tab, where you can review security issues, as well as tabs for People & Sharing and Payments & Subscriptions.
Digging down into the security section, you’ll see alerts highlighting things you can do to improve your Google Account security — like removing an account from an old Android device if you haven’t used it in a while. It will also tell you whether 2-step verification is on or off.
Rather than requiring users to click, scroll, and peruse multiple tabs to find what they want, Google has introduced a new search function that lets you manually type in keywords to find something, such as “purchases,” “payment methods,” or “saved passwords.” It also features a dedicated support page that links to Google forums where you can ask questions.
This latest update comes three years after Google first introduced its My Account dashboard with the promise of better privacy and security controls. However, consumer privacy and security have reemerged as major talking points following a number of high-profile headlines, such as the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data scandal. That explains why we’ve seen an uptick in technology companies pushing out new security features lately, including Mozilla launching a new add-on to isolate Facebook from your normal web browsing.
Google has largely escaped the fallout from the Facebook data privacy scandal, but it’s all too aware that it has to keep its finger on the pulse and proactively position itself as a defender of user privacy.
“We know that when it comes to data and privacy, one size does not fit all,” noted Google Account product manager Jan Hannemann, in a blog post. “To help you better understand and take control of your Google Account, we’ve made all your privacy options easy to review with our new intuitive, user-tested design.”