Google Desktop - local queries sent to google

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Bill Stout, Jan 25, 2007.

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  1. Bill Stout

    Bill Stout Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Posts:
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    Location:
    Mountain View, CA
    A search didn't reveal posts cautioning that Google Desktop can be a leak of confidential information. Apologies if this is well known here.

    Searching desktop though google desktop sends typed info to Google as you type.

    Example: Use Google Desktop with default search for local desktop. The phrase 'SOCIALSECURITY' was used as a test phrase, this represents private information you may be looking for on your computer. Ethereal network sniffer reveals that this information is sent to suggestqueries.google.com.

    Results from network sniffer (summarized):

    GET /complete/search?q=SOCI&output=desktop&hl=en&sourceid=gd HTTP/1.1
    Accept: */*
    Accept-Encoding: gzip
    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Google Desktop)
    Host: suggestqueries.google.com

    ...............Q(K-*....U2.3P....)./.I-K......Gp.........GET /complete/search?q=SOCIAL&output=desktop&hl=en&sourceid=gd HTTP/1.1

    ...............Q(K-*....U2.3P....)./.I-K......Gp.........GET /complete/search?q=SOCIALSECURI&output=desktop&hl=en&sourceid=gd HTTP/1.1

    ...............Q(K-*....U2.3P....)./.I-K......Gp.........GET /complete/search?q=SOCIALSECURIT&output=desktop&hl=en&sourceid=gd HTTP/1.1

    ...............Q(K-*....U2.3P....)./.I-K......Gp.........GET /complete/search?q=SOCIALSECURITY&output=desktop&hl=en&sourceid=gd HTTP/1.1
    One of the items which causes local search queries to be sent to Google is the preference to 'Show spelling corrections'. This can be disabled by changing Google desktop preferences - Display tab - Quick Find section - Show spelling corrections. This is in the current version of Google Desktop - 5.0.0611.15590-en-pb.
     
  2. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    10,874
    Location:
    The Netherlands
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