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Security Alert – EFF.org says: “Consumers Should Not Use New Google Desktop”

February 14th, 2006 by Patrick Elliott

In a recent article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (link), the group advises users NOT to use the new Google Desktop software.

According to the EFF, “If a consumer chooses to use it, the new “Search Across Computers” feature will store copies of the user’s Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other text-based documents on Google’s own servers, to enable searching from any one of the user’s computers.”, a serious risk to personal privacy and identity theft.

The article continues stating that “Google will have copies of your tax returns, love letters, business records, financial and medical files, and whatever other text-based documents the Desktop software can index. The government could then demand these personal files with only a subpoena rather than the search warrant it would need to seize the same things from your home or business, and in many cases you wouldn’t even be notified in time to challenge it. Other litigants—your spouse, your business partners or rivals, whoever—could also try to cut out the middleman (you) and subpoena Google for your files.”

EVEN if you want to delete your files from Google’s cache servers — that process could take up to 60 days! From Google’s Desktop Search privacy policy (link):

"If you cancel your Google Account or uninstall Google Desktop, the files indexed in the Search Across Computers feature will no longer be accessible through Google Desktop and may remain on our servers for up to 60 days before being deleted. "

MSBLOG strongly advises users examine the EULA and privacy policies of any software installed onto their computers.

After a review of the Microsoft Windows Desktop Search privacy policy (link), we found the following:

"Desktop Search does not make your computer's content accessible to Microsoft or anyone else. In addition, if you share your computer with other users, each user can search only their own documents and files, and the files in shared locations. They cannot search the documents saved in other users' My Documents folders. If you are an administrator on your computer, you can change the locations that are indexed."

MSBLOG advises users uninstall Google Desktop Search immediatly and contact Google to have personal files (if any) removed from Google’s servers.

You can download the MSN Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search here:
http://toolbar.msn.com

Posted in Bugs, MS News, Security | 1 Comment »


This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2006 at 2:32 pm and is filed under Bugs, MS News, Security. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


One Response

  1. Patrick S Says:

    Never Have, And Never Will trust google…. A lot of their method’s are questionable!