Google's biggest threat is no longer Microsoft. It is itself. As the company harvests copious quantities of personal data, it becomes dramatically better at serving customer needs... ...and at freaking them out over privacy concerns.
In other words, Google gets stronger with every Google Doc created, every Google Voice call dialed, and every Gmail e-mail sent. It becomes stronger because data is the heart of the Web's biggest businesses, as Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady implies.

But in so doing Google also becomes more threatening to the very consumers it is trying to serve.

Google Dashboard is meant to change this by putting consumer data back in the hands of consumers. It's a move that follows on Google's earlier pledge to "open data" and its Data Liberation Front.

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