View Full Version : Google Desktop Copies Your Files Onto Its Servers

February 15th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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Your files searchable from any computer; Government welcomes Google's new feature

It appears that controversy over Google and its services and offerings just keep coming. Google has released a new version of its Google Desktop local search application this week. However, what sets this latest release from Google's previous version is that the new desktop search copies known document formats from your computer over to Google's servers. Google says that the feature is designed to be able to help you search for your documents from anywhere -- provided you log in with the account that's associated with the files.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) cites this new feature as being extremely dangerous to consumers. Since documents and personal information will be on Google's servers, it will allow government officials to demand that Google hand over information. EFF says:

Unless you configure Google Desktop very carefully, and few people will, 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.

According to government laws and acts, privacy for online email and stored information is very limited and only protects consumers in certain areas. Under most circumstances, information is surrendered to government officials when requested. Privacy concerns are on high alert with Google's new Google Desktop. EFF says that the copying feature can be disabled but is difficult to get to and in most cases, users won't even realize that their files are being copied.

Upon close examination, Google's privacy policy does not restrict it from actually scanning the files that it copies. Although it is not performing file scans now, Google has not ruled out the possibility that it will not do so in the future for the purposes of producing targeted advertisements. No response from Google so far about the concerns being brought up about its new Google Desktop tool. If you're looking for a nice, lightweight alternative to Google Desktop, you may wish to try Copernic.

great....google is turning out even worse than microsoft.
and just today i saw news that some desktop prgrams were bieng ported to linux. i was happy ubtill i saw this


February 15th, 2006, 04:04 PM
man !! i dont believe this... why would they do that? how much storage capacity they need to have all those files from millions of people?

anyway i am not using it... this is ridiculous if its true...it sucks...

February 15th, 2006, 04:15 PM
man !! i dont believe this... why would they do that? how much storage capacity they need to have all those files from millions of people?

anyway i am not using it... this is ridiculous if its true...it sucks...
google has plenty of storage. remeber they archived nearly all the usenet groups (text only).. also they prbably only copy over text documents.

February 15th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Google has 6.5 petabytes of storage. ;)

February 15th, 2006, 04:33 PM
what the blank is a petabyte? lol....wow. I like google, I use rmail and think it is great. I would not use the desktop function. You only have to worry if you are doing things that you warrant worry. For those things, use a little discretion. Not so hard. The only reason I would not use the deskto thing is that it does not make sense to me. I know where my stuff is and window and linus both have search features built in already. If I want to access my filed from another location I will use a vnc that I have set up and know is secure.

February 15th, 2006, 05:09 PM
Google has 6.5 petabytes of storage. ;)
i know i am the one who posted above but i'd like to add that google is the only company that did not give the govermanet access to user searches.

February 15th, 2006, 05:20 PM
Google has 6.5 petabytes of storage. ;)
How much is that in GB?

February 15th, 2006, 05:28 PM
If Microsoft was doing something 1% as bad as what the original poster reported, the whole forum would be sending death threats to Bill Gates. It's extremely surprising that people fail to see how "evil" (as in "Microsoft is evil") Google has become. A few weeks ago, they decided to censor their searches in China (and justified it again yesterday). Then people learned that they store your GoogleTalk logs on their servers, and now they can sweep your text (but probably emails, spreadsheets...) on their own machines?
Add to this that Google has always been low on privacy protection (well, they do sell you to advertiser, don't you), how come the response is so passive here?

Artificial Intelligence
February 15th, 2006, 05:32 PM
Actually it ask if you want to copy it to the servers or not. So if people won't have it just click no. I see no big fuss about it.

February 15th, 2006, 05:37 PM
That's it. I'm going to configure my own mail server with www.no-ip.com

February 15th, 2006, 05:42 PM

By the way , i no longer *like* Google , but i also don't *dislike* them , they are for me JUST good service providers(TM).

In my humble opinion , Google does not give me reasons to hate them (they don't try to force me at anything , unlike M$) , but they also donīt give me reasons to love them (win only apps , free as in free beer software) , Google is just Google.

February 17th, 2006, 12:29 PM
i still use gmail cuz its stil the best