Robert Scoble wrote a quick response to Google’s announcement of Google History. I find that Scobleizer is a bit of an echo chamber and since Google Desktop has a timeline feature Google History in not really exciting news.
But it struck me that his views are very naive for a technology commentator…
Scoble points out that Google know a lot about him. Insightful, I know! But I was surprised by how little, ‘history’ Google History, actually showed.
It displays a time-line of search history plus what you clicked and thumbnails if you clicked on image search. But Google knows so much more about me…
What I want to see is my gmail conversations interwoven into my search history, my RSS activity (reading, linking out, subscribing etc.), my Docs and Spreadsheets activity, by Google Groups activity, my Google bookmarks, my non-search browsing history… and there is certainly even more that Google know about me.
They know this info. I know they know. They know I know. So why not show it to me? Personally, having that type of history would be Google’s most compelling feature. For the naive, like Scoble, it would look a lot like Big Brother.
But Due to the Data Protection Act we have the right to see and delete personal information about ourselves. What I like about Google’s approach is that they don’t just pay lip-service to these rights but build them in as application features. History has both these features, chat has ‘go off the record’ and when you delete your account it really is gone.
So the real naivety is believing that this type of information about you does not exist. I say make it all accessible and give people the power to exercise their right to control it.