Monday, February 13, 2006

Privacy concerns over Google Desktop

In case you've downloaded Google Desktop 3 beta, here's an article at ZDNet about a newly-added feature that may pose "serious privacy implications".

Apparently, the new version allows users to search for files across multiple computers, by storing copies of the user's documents on Google's servers. So if the servers are compromised by hackers, there goes your confidential stuff such as personal records and love letters.

A reader, ZStoner, commented:
The article mentions that it won't copy "password protected files" and "Secure web pages". But for the average Joe at home, would he really have any password protected files at all? And he wouldn't have "Secure web pages" stored on his local drive either. So in the end this disclaimer of protection does little good to protect the typical end user, whose files are hardly ever password protected.

As with most disclaimers, take it with a pinch of salt.

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