Saturday, October 16, 2004

Article: A Closer Look At Privacy & Desktop Search

Google has launched its desktop search product, which appears to be quite popular. Afterall, who wouldn't want to be able to search all the junk on their computer as easily as you can search the internet? As long as the product doesn't send any information back to Google (a la spyware), what are the privacy issues? Well, there are a few, particularly if you share your computer or your computer is not adequately secured on a network. Danny Sullivan, of Search Engine Watch, has a good article on things to think about when using a desktop search tool.

A Closer Look At Privacy & Desktop Search:

"The anticipated popularity of Google's new desktop search tool means that soon it will be commonplace for everyone to search their computers as easily, comprehensively and quickly as they search the web. After all, several of Google's competitors already are working on desktop search offerings of their own. So even if you don't use Google's tool, chances are, you'll use someone else's.

In short, a new era of search is being ushered in. With it comes some new issues about search privacy. We've already seen how people are sometimes shocked to discover that personal information about themselves is out on the web and made easily accessible through search. Our Search Engines & Legal Issues page recounts many such examples.


The same issues apply in general to desktop search. Search tools, like the new one from Google, will make it much easier to find and locate information on a particular computer. That shouldn't be a privacy issue, as long as ordinary security procedures are followed. Unfortunately, they often aren't."

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