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...I asked him if he knew why Google Desktop was installed on the new systems. "Yes," he said. "The new Dell systems came with it installed. We thought it was a useful tool, so we included it in our standard image."
The question that immediately reverberated in my head was, Why weren't the security implications considered? What I said was, "This is a security problem for us, and we have to uninstall it as soon as possible. I'll put together a meeting."
Shame on any IT head that would let this or anything like it get installed.
If you run an IT department, then yes, you should know everything that's running on the machines and what it does, and yes, you should think carefully about letting users run Desktop Search.
However - in a connected world... answering the doorbell is a securuty threat...
From the article:
"In order to share your indexed files between your computers, we securely transmit this content to Google Desktop servers located at Google."
"It would allow our users who have Google Desktop and Gmail accounts to share data across the Google servers and wherever else they happened to log into a computer - and that could include data protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act."
That could potentially get you fired if you're tasked with ensuring HIPAA compliance.
My first Action before turning the system ON and before its plugged in to the main network is to NUKE the OS - Take out and Format Hardrive. Then install Fresh OS from the disk that contains all the Updates and Patches. Gives me a piece of ming Every time.
But this is for the person who has a clue. What About the Miranda next Door, and her network?
This has always been the catch 22 for microsoft versus Apple OSX.
MS is insecure because the platform allows third party development which creates insecurity by definition.
We all have given in to Google anyway - why not send them your credit card by Google Checkout that may as well just fast track it and get it done (only joking)
Connecting to the internet is crackers now - whatever happened to listening to music or reading books? (again, only joking)
And to the guy that formats a Dell PC after purchase - why not just purchase a cheap white label PC for half the price without the OS installed? Is that not like buying a microwave meal and then cooking a nice rack of lamb and then roasting a few potatoes to put with it? (not joking)
Don't get a flipping gmail account, google adword account, google adsense account in the same name if you are worried about security.
Forget the law - the purpose of this is to link your whole life together.
Do you really need to share all this if you use Google Adwords or Adsense and don't want everything tracked?
Or, a better way to say it - don't get everything from one provider. In "real life" that is a bad idea so why can't that be so in Google world.... I mean the Internet....