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Google Desktop 3.0 Raises New Privacy Issues

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Chris Sherman wrote about Google's new Desktop Search today. One of the new features Chris describes enables you to "use the Google Desktop to search across multiple computers." USA Today writes that this feature "raises privacy concerns." For this feature to work, Google has to copy your PC's files to Google's servers and then those files are sent back to the PCs. As noted in the USA Today article, "previous versions merely indexed files, without storing copies at Google."

The EFF is worried and warns not to use the feature. Should you be worried? If you are, you do not have to use that feature. But what about the unsuspecting user who doesn't fully understand that data is being stored of a period of time at Google? I can see a reason for concern there. Can we trust Google with our data?

The bottom-line is that we currently have a say, and we do not have to use Google Desktop or that feature in Google Desktop. Also be aware that this feature is NOT turned on by default. If enabled, data is kept only for 30 days if not accessed, Google says. Google provides more info here.


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