I’m seeing a lot of articles (and people at work are linking me to even more) warning people about the new Google Desktop Search; like: Google Copies Your Hard Drive – Government Smiles in Anticipation
Google today announced a new “feature” of its Google Desktop software that greatly increases the risk to consumer privacy. 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. EFF urges consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who’ve obtained a user’s Google password.Though, I do agree that the search across computers isn’t a feature most people will have any need for and opens serious security concerns… it isn’t a big deal… why? Because it can EASILY be turned off. There is no mysterious configuration required… when you install the new version of GDS, it asks you if you want to turn the search across computers feature on and then explains what that means. This is not complicated configurations nor tweaking nor reading fine print… we’re talking a very simple page of <8 options (this feature being one of those options).
Get a grip. Read the screen. Uncheck the box.
And yes, I have a bandwidth monitor and didn’t notice any transfers which would make me concerned on either of the computers I have installed it on thus far.