JP Vossen on 3 Dec 2008 10:31:38 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] OT: Why bashing Google?...

> Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2008 16:55:06 -0500
> From: Gordon Dexter <>

> [...] But I still understand why some people are 
> uncomfortable with Google.  The amount of personal information they 
> collect is just staggering, and there's a lot of potential for it to be 
> misused.  There's no evidence that they have actually done so, but 
> things like their AdWords in gmail give people the heebie-jeebies, even 
> if their personal information is kept completely safe and private.

In addition to the above, and the excellent points made by others, esp. 
Brian V, I'd like to add one other tidbit of food for thought.  Even if 
we trust Google with this staggering amount of private data (think 
medical/mental health queries if nothing else), do you trust the federal 
government, which has been demonstrably untrustworthy on issues of 
privacy.  Google will certainly honor a warrant, and while I won't go 
into any warrantless conspiracies, well...

The only thing that Google doesn't have their hand in is DNS.  That I 
know of.

> I personally think Google does a lot of neat stuff, but I'm wary in what 
> personal info I share with them, and I made sure I understood their 
> privacy policies.  I haven't seen anything that really scares me while 
> reading them but people have different comfort levels.  A paranoid 
> corporation, for example, might have good reason to avoid their 
> appliance, perhaps to protect trade secrets, contract details, or some 
> other form of highly confidential data that needs protection beyond an 
> individual's profile data.

There's also the case where you're dealing with other people's data; 
even if I was not personally paranoid enough (though I am), I know our 
customers wouldn't be happy about even a potential data leak.  Open 
source is a big plus in that area, since it's at least possible to audit 
it, even if not that many people actually can/do.

JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|        jp{at}jpsdomain{dot}org
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