Activity Dashboard in G Suite Shows When Shared Files are Viewed

A new Activity Dashboard has started rolling out to G Suite domains that allows admins and users to see when shared files have been viewed by others.  The idea behind the dashboard is to improve collaboration by letting users know when someone who is working with them on a file has actually viewed that file.  Think of it as read receipts for files.

The new feature works for Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files and the feature will be rolling out in two phases.  First, admins will have the ability to enable or disable the feature starting today and only they can see the Activity Dashboard.

Admins have three choices when it comes to enabling the Activity Dashboard:

  • On: Activity dashboards show all user views, unless individual users hide their information.
  • On – Only within your domain: Your users’ viewing information is only visible in Activity dashboards of files owned by users in your domain and to other users within your domain, unless individual users hide their information. Your users’ viewing data will not be visible in Activity dashboards of files owned by users in other domains.
  • Off: Your users’ viewing data will not show up in Activity dashboard for any file. Your users may be able to see whether external users have viewed their files, depending on the Activity dashboard settings of those external users.
G Suite Activity Dashboard

G Suite Activity Dashboard

End users, when the feature is enabled on their domain, will start having access to the dashboard starting March 21.  Users will have access to privacy controls so that their activity cannot be viewed by others.  While this somewhat defeats the point of the feature, it falls in line with Google’s privacy policies.

This new feature is rolling out to G Suite Business, Enterprise, Education, and Nonprofit editions only so you will have to have one of those version in order to access and use this new dashboard.

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