Is Google Desktop 3 a threat to data security?

by admin February 17, 2006 at 8:28 am

Here’s two IT pros who certainly think so…

Google Desktop’s new search-across-computers feature could put sensitive data at risk and violate US federal data-privacy regulations, according to IT administrators at a public university and a large manufacturing company.

Both are banning it from their networks.

Last week, 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.

The Electronic Privacy Foundation urged consumers to boycott the software, warning that Google could be forced to turn over the data to the government if subpoenaed, even if the data is stored on Google servers only temporarily.

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