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Google Desktop Beta 3 Has Risks

Google agrees with security company Gartner’s analysis that their search across computers feature can have security implications, particularly for a corporation. From ZDNet UK, “The risk to enterprises, according to Gartner, lies in how this shared information is pooled by Google. The data is transferred to a remote server, where it is stored and can then be shared between users for up to 30 days.”

I will be surprised if even home users would be willing to accept this risk. The thought of anyone holding onto data for 30 days is just unacceptable. Google rightly claims that the feature requires an opt in, so it will not transmit information unless you agree. Still, to have this security hole on a corporate network is probably every IT manager’s nightmare. Google does say that there will be a Google Desktop for Enterprise that will allow an IT administrator to turn the feature off for all users on his network and that is what they would recommend for all corporate users. And for home users? I don’t know about you, but I am not giving anyone free access to my data that they have a right to store for 30 days, regardless of who it is.

Posted by Jeff

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