Google admits Desktop security risk

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by GUI_Tex, Feb 20, 2006.

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  1. GUI_Tex

    GUI_Tex Registered Member

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    Businesses have been warned by research company Gartner that the latest Google Desktop Beta has an "unacceptable security risk," and Google agrees.

    On Feb. 9, Google unveiled Google Desktop 3, a free, downloadable program that includes an option to let users search across multiple computers for files. To do that, the application automatically stores copies of files, for up to a month, on Google servers. From there, copies are transferred to the user's other computers for archiving. The data is encrypted in transmission and while stored on Google servers.


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  2. TonyW

    TonyW Registered Member

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    Quite why your own files need to be stored on Google's servers I don't know. It's not as if it's an online backup tool, is it?
     
  3. aka:snowman

    aka:snowman Former Poster

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    Heck.....don't completely trust storing files on my own computers.......an they are about as secure as anyone's.......sure would not store files on someone's servers.....no way....
     
  4. Marja

    Marja Honestly, I'm not a bot!!

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    Does anyone see the irony of this story and the story about Google turning down the DOJ's request?

    LOL! What a crazy world!
     
  5. tansu

    tansu Registered Member

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    Maybe accepting DOJ's request may cause disclosing some things that google do not want it to be known.
     
  6. Cochise

    Cochise A missed friend

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    Is this Article relevant or is it 'old' News?........

    Cochise,:cool:

    February 09, 2006
    Google Copies Your Hard Drive - Government Smiles in Anticipation
    Consumers Should Not Use New Google Desktop

    San Francisco - Google today announced a new "feature" of its Google Desktop software that greatly increases the risk to consumer privacy. If a consumer chooses to use it, the new "Search Across Computers" feature will store copies of the user's Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other text-based documents on Google's own servers, to enable searching from any one of the user's computers. EFF urges consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who've obtained a user's Google password.

    "Coming on the heels of serious consumer concern about government snooping into Google's search logs, it's shocking that Google expects its users to now trust it with the contents of their personal computers," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "If you use the Search Across Computers feature and don't configure Google Desktop very carefully—and most people won't—Google will have copies of your tax returns, love letters, business records, financial and medical files, and whatever other text-based documents the Desktop software can index. The government could then demand these personal files with only a subpoena rather than the search warrant it would need to seize the same things from your home or business, and in many cases you wouldn't even be notified in time to challenge it. Other litigants—your spouse, your business partners or rivals, whoever—could also try to cut out the middleman (you) and subpoena Google for your files."

    The privacy problem arises because the Electronic Communication Privacy Act of 1986, or ECPA, gives only limited privacy protection to emails and other files that are stored with online service providers—much less privacy than the legal protections for the same information when it's on your computer at home. And even that lower level of legal protection could disappear if Google uses your data for marketing purposes. Google says it is not yet scanning the files it copies from your hard drive in order to serve targeted advertising, but it hasn't ruled out the possibility, and Google's current privacy policy appears to allow it.

    "This Google product highlights a key privacy problem in the digital age," said Cindy Cohn, EFF's Legal Director. "Many Internet innovations involve storing personal files on a service provider's computer, but under outdated laws, consumers who want to use these new technologies have to surrender their privacy rights. If Google wants consumers to trust it to store copies of personal computer files, emails, search histories and chat logs, and still 'not be evil,' it should stand with EFF and demand that Congress update the privacy laws to better reflect life in the wired world."

    For more on Google's data collection:
    http://news.com.com/FAQ When Google is not your friend/2100-1025_3-6034666.html?tag=nl http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/01/21/google_subpoena_roils_the_web http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/01/20/EDGEPGPHA61.DTL http://news.com.com/ Bill would force Web sites to delete personal info/2100-1028_3-6036951.html

    Contact:

    Kevin Bankston
     
  7. Marja

    Marja Honestly, I'm not a bot!!

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    Oy VEY! Thanks for the info, 'Chise.......

    It just never stops! Don't these people have their OWN lives?:rolleyes:
     
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