Google has something for everyone.

Or, as one government after another gets in line to point out, Google has something from everyone, and we need to start thinking seriously about the repercussions of that fact. To death and taxes we can add the certainty that Google knows stuff.

This piece isn’t about the “is Google a monopoly?” question, though. Today we talk about how you can manage your data as Google manages it for you. And I’m giving Google high marks.

We know that Google knows just about everything about just about everything we do. That reach keeps expanding, and it isn’t just applicable to what we do on-line any longer; Google knows pretty much everything.

Sure, Google lets you control things, to a point. Google Custom Search lets you decide what’s important to you (or at least what’s not important), for example, and in theory you can remove some details about yourself using their manage-“everything”-in-one-pace Google Dashboard.

I recently discovered a tool that Google’s made available to us all to make it easier to get your stuff from, if not necessarily out of Google. Google Takeout lets you download copies of many of the things Google’s holding for you.

Google Takeout

Google hasn’t publicized Takeout very much, because—let’s face it—it doesn’t serve their purposes for you to use it. It does, however, help Google that they can tell anyone who asks that they make it so easy for you to retrieve your information. Competitors like Facebook? Not easy. Governments lookimg into Google’s business practices? Takeout makes for a nice defensive tool. Users? Don’t worry; Google lets you maintain control over your stuff!

I pick on Google from time to time, and my opinion as to whether Google is doing anything “dirty” swings from one side to the other almost daily. But I have to give them credit: with Takeout, Google is managing business change exactly the right way.

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