Tuesday, 19 October 2004

Saw this coming, had a discussion with a colleague this morning about it, and Security Pipeline has an article about it.

Google's desktop search (in public beta) indexes local machine content to let you search though it and quickly find stuff on your computer.

Problem is, it might let others find and read your stuff if your computer is used by anyone other than you. Hmmm. Details...

From the article:

If you're the computer's only user, the software is helpful "as a photographic memory of everything you've seen on the computer," said Marissa Mayer, director of consumer Web products at Google Inc. The giant index remains on the computer and isn't shared with Google. The company can't access it remotely even if it gets a subpoena ordering it to do so, Mayer said.

Where the privacy and security concerns arise is when the computer is shared.

Type in "hotmail.com" and you'll get copies, or stored caches, of messages that previous users have seen. Enter an e-mail address and you can read all the messages sent to and from that address. Type "password" and get password reminders that were sent back via e-mail.

Acknowledging the concerns, Mayer said managers of shared computers should think twice about installing the software until Google develops advanced features like password protection and multi-user support.



Add/Read: Comments [1]
IT Security | Tech
Wednesday, 20 October 2004 09:47:37 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
"Problem is, it might let others find and read your stuff if your computer is used by anyone other than you."

Well, isn't someone using your computer (without this software) a security concern anyway?

If you have sensitive materials on your computer, you shouldn't let other access it.

It should be noted that the Google Desktop Search Beta, will only run on one account per machine also, so you would need access to the users credentials to access the Google desktop search...
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