Google Docs tool can show every edit a person has ever made

Some have warned that the tool could catch people who lie on their CVs and who wrote public statements

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The Independent Tech

A new Chrome extension lets people see every edit made on a Google Doc, potentially revealing CV lies as well as serial editers.

Google Docs is the company’s answer to Microsoft Word — given away free, it lets people write in a simple interface and store all the results in the internet, so other people can see and potentially edit it. But if those documents are shared with other people, they can use the new tool to explore all of the edits that have ever been made to them.

The extension is called Draftback and was made by James Somers, a writer and programmer. It works by putting a button in the browser that can be selected, bringing up a full history of every word that has ever been written into it.

The tool could be used to explore how CVs came together, or the authorship of important news releases and statements, Sky News points out. Companies often write and then share those documents in Google’s tools — and unless they opt to hide the revision history, the entire timeline shows up using the extension.

But the edits can only be revealed if the document is set to give the person full edit rights – recruiters wouldn't be able to see all of the edits if they were only given viewing privileges, for instance.

If something interesting is found, users can generate an animation that shows all the changes, and then share it.