Fixing Login Inconsistencies In Google's Services - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
9/12/2009
06:53 PM
Allen Stern
Allen Stern
Commentary
50%
50%

Fixing Login Inconsistencies In Google's Services

Over the past few weeks I've been keeping track of the different ways each Google service handles login procedures. I would have thought that once I am "cookied" by a Google service that all services would authenticate my session in the same manner but this is not the case.

Over the past few weeks I've been keeping track of the different ways each Google service handles login procedures. I would have thought that once I am "cookied" by a Google service that all services would authenticate my session in the same manner but this is not the case.Below are some of the Google services and what happens when I attempt to load the service assuming that I am already cookied.

  • Gmail - takes me right into my mailbox with no login screen
  • Google Checkout - forces me to enter my password each time but displays my username
  • Feedburner - takes me directly into the my main list of managed feeds
  • Google AdSense - displays a login page but the login box is missing and a "waiting" note and then I am taken directly into my account
  • Google AdWords - takes me directly to my management screen
  • Google Analytics - requires me to click to access but knows I am already logged into Google services
  • Google Webmaster - displays a similar screen to Google AdSense but I am forced to click the login button but am never prompted for a password
  • iGoogle - takes me directly to my customized home page
  • YouTube - clicking upload takes me directly to the upload screen
  • Google Reader - takes me directly to my RSS feeds
  • Orkut - takes me directly to my account management page
  • Google Groups - takes me to my groups management page
  • Google Docs - takes me directly to my documents management page
  • Google Calendar - takes me directly to my calendar
  • Blogger - forces me to login using my Google account information

At first I was thinking that it's great that Google forces me to enter my password when I want to process orders for my startup in Google Checkout. But if that's the case, shouldn't Google AdSense follow the same authentication pattern? What about Google Docs and Calendar - documents in both of those services could be just as sensitive as financial information in Google Checkout/AdSense or AdWords.

Earlier this month, Google's mail service was out of service. Many of the comments (and in emails I received) noted how many confidential and important documents are held in user's Gmail accounts.

I'd like to see Google follow the same procedures for all Google services. Or perhaps the better option is to allow users to select what level of authentication they would like for each service. Either way, I'd like to see some consistency based on the "security level" of each application.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll