October 18, 2004

Selling the Desktop to Google

Google has launched a desktop search product and as often is the case John Battelle has the full info. And like nearly everything Google has done of late, this move scares the shit out of me. Why? Because Google is not in the search business, they are in the datamining business. The information on your hard drive is both personal and valuable, do you really want to give it to Google for free?

More soon..

Posted by Abe at October 18, 2004 06:52 PM


you need to read the prvacy policy...they do not read your data.

I trust privacy policies about as much as I trust the ink they are printed on...

They won't be reading your data. I'm using it and it's a great service. Let's you search your web surf results and browser cache, plus files and email. Doesn't play well with XP though.

Man I have a trusting readership, anyone want to buy a bridge?

What kind of individual knowingly trusts a large corporation that offers no public way to get in touch with a human on the phone with access to their hard drive based on some privacy policy posted somewhere? And what happens if Google gets sold, or the CIA knocks on their door? Blind faith in a corporation..

How does the technology work? Do the search results actually get sent back to a Google server?

While we're on the subject, do we trust companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Red Hat with our personal data? They're not in the data mining business... yet...

MSN is developing their own search technology and Hotmail is owned by Microsoft. And then there is their Passport initiative, which thankfully has basically failed, but was/is an attempt to tie all your online logins to one identity owned by Microsoft.

Apple and Red Hat have their own agendas, which so far seem a bit more benign..

There's a way to check if the information is getting sent to Google in some underhand sort of way, not that I'm too sure about the technical side of things but I'm sure that there is some way to run software on your computer to sniff all the data packets that leave your internet connection, so just run the desktop search program and sit back and wait to see if there's any funny business going on. I'd be more worried about Gmail to be honest having all your data stored on servers far, far away.

James, yes I'm plenty worried about Gmail too. As for the present threat of their desktop search app, I doubt they are doing anything unsavory at the moment. What worries me is that its a perfect trojan horse, and we have no idea who is going to be in control of Google in say 5 years. They have absurd amounts of data on their hands and are aggressively seeking more of it, and personalizing it to boot.

I've yet to see Google do anything truly unsavory with their data, although they have altered their results under institutional and governmental pressure at times. The issue is not what they have done though, its about the *potential* of what they might do in the future. And it scares the shit out of me.

don't you worry at all that, considering all the arrests of activists that occured during convention in NY, writing shit like this is not technically a very safy idea?

calm down...........

gmail rules..............

"I trust privacy policies about as much as I trust the ink they are printed on..."

Then I hope you never bought anything online becuase they have your CREDIT CARD NUMBER, and may share it despit what their privacy policy says.

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Will my personal information be public if I post here?

Was browsing Google and found your site, enjoyed the reading, thanks