Hazards of the New Google Tool
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Thread: Hazards of the New Google Tool

  1. #1
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    Hazards of the New Google Tool

    This should cause a raised eyebrow:

    New Google tool for searching computers a privacy risk on shared PCs

    By Anick Jesdanun, The Associated Press Oct 18 2004 1:43PM

    People who use public or workplace computers for e-mail, instant messaging and Web searching have a new security risk to worry about: Google's free new tool that indexes a PC's contents for quickly locating data.

    If it's installed on computers at libraries and Internet cafes, users could unwittingly allow people who follow them on the PCs, for example, to see sensitive information in e-mails they've exchanged. That could mean revealed passwords, conversations with doctors, or viewed Web pages detailing online purchases.

    "It's clearly a very powerful tool for locating information on the computer," said Richard M. Smith, a privacy and security consultant in Cambridge, Mass. "On the flip side of things, it's a perfect spy program."

    The rest of the article is Here
    enjoy
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  2. #2
    King Tutorial-ankhamun
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    Isnít this something you can already do, albeit slower?

  3. #3
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    seems good

    The article in reference says:

    "A multicolored swirl in the system tray at the lower right corner of the computer desktop means the software is running. A user can right-click on that to exit the program -- thereby preventing it from recording Web surfing, e-mail and chat sessions."

    Well, if it is going to be that easy to stop this program, then it may actually be a useful utility for all of us, some awareness about its use can protect the users using public computers....

    Also the article states:

    "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. "

    hmmmnnnn........ seems powerful
    keep smilling

  4. #4
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    Well I guess thatís true. But now unfortunately with very little effort, any deviant could acquire much more of someone's personal information just by using the shared computers at his local library (If the tool is installed).

    Such as:

    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.
    edit: Nice quote rktak
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  5. #5
    Regal Making Handler
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    The Register also carried an article slamming Google desktop.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10...sktop_privacy/

    "If you lined people and said, 'Stick your hand up if you want Google to know what pictures you have, and what MP3 files you have,' I don't think many would."
    Now i no that i would not want Google to no what i have on my pc Nor anyone els for that matter..............Not that i keep anything to sensitive on my pc. However some of what is stored is personal and i like to keep it that way.

    After all you would not create an account called "access for all an sundry ". would you?
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

  6. #6
    I haven't installed the desktop yet, as lately I have been cynical of Google. I use the search engine extensively, but I can't trust Google simply because of the amount of power they can wield over it's users, (which is true with many sites).

    A friend tells me that Google Desktop info hasn't popped up at all through sniffing, which tells me that it doesn't phone home. The Firefox Google field doesn't phone home for anything other than the search itselft. The Windows google toolbar, however, has a "page rank" function that phones home every site you visit, not just the ones visited through the toolbar's functions. Google is very good about letting you know about the privacy risks of their products, as far as I can see from their toolbar. But don't forget that your google searches are easily linked to your Gmail account through a simple cookie, if Google chooses to do so. They can profile any Gmail user if they like.

    Just keep it in mind.

    As for the desktop being a security risk? Don't use public terminals... It's like changing clothes on a NYC streetcorner, everyone can see your private stuff.

  7. #7
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    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.
    The Article did say that it couldn't phone home, but I'm skeptical about that promise. The doggon thang is getting to powerful.

    cheers

    edit: Now that's funny!

    It's like changing clothes on a NYC streetcorner, everyone can see your private stuff.
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  8. #8
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    If it's installed on computers at libraries and Internet cafes, users could unwittingly allow people who follow them on the PCs
    I can never fully understand why people would check on their mail and things at libraries and internet cafes. Come on though, buying products and taking care of appointments using public computers? Haha! That in itself really... really... really... goes beyond any point of stupidity. You have no privacy at all on publicly based computers, don't these guys get it?

  9. #9
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    i ain't installing that $hit! it's the stupidest thing i have ever heard of!
    More cowbell! We need more cowbell!
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  10. #10
    Keeping The Balance CybertecOne's Avatar
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    I can never fully understand why people would check on their mail and things at libraries and internet cafes.
    Some people (STILL) dont have personal computers, or they use their work computers because they are at work most of the day. however, i would have to agree on the fact that it is a very powerful tool, but i would not use it if it can index as much as it can.

    I know my computer structure that well i can see all my programs and files in my head. Thats just organisation. but it keeps the whole machine 'neat and tidy'.


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