Google is at it Again – Revisited

By at 21 February, 2006, 10:54 am

On February 10, 2006 I posted about concerns regarding the Search Across Computers feature of Google’s new desktop search engine. I just found this follow-up to the Google story which I find to be very interesting from the attitude of Google.

“Google told ZDNet UK on Monday that it recognized the risk, and recommended that companies take action. “We recognize that this is a big issue for enterprise. Yes, it’s a risk, and we understand that businesses may be concerned,” said Andy Ku, European marketing manager for Google.”

Ah, but here’s the really not so funny part: Google said that security was the concern of individual businesses.

“The burden falls on enterprises to look after security issues,” Ku said. “Companies can disable the Search Across Computers facility.”

Later in the interview it gets better:

Google said it was unable to comment on the risks posed when individuals share sensitive information. “Some users may, and some users may not be able to,” said Ku, adding that companies should follow their own policies.

“At the end of the day, each company should make its own decision. If they are uncomfortable, they shouldn’t enable the feature,” Ku said. “It’s about what a company deems to be best corporate policy.”

Interesting. So what Google is telling everyone is that they are going to give your employees the ability to transfer your data (and intellectual property) to their servers, but it’s up to you to lock things down if you don’t want this to happen. No wonder IT administrators want to lock everything down so an employee has nothing more than a dumb terminal. Better yet, for the majority of users, attorneys included, who don’t read the End User License Agreement, you wouldn’t know this was happening. It would be different if the default for this feature was off and then Google asked you as part of the installation process if you wanted this feature turned on. It seems that Google’s mantra of “don’t be evil” has a different meaning for Google then for the rest of us.

Categories : Hmmm! | Internet

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