Fixing Login Inconsistencies In Google's ServicesFixing 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.
September 12, 2009
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.
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