Its interesting to see how Google’s attitude towards many things have changed throughout the years. In a recent article posted on ZDNET, Google’s representatives officially note that their new “Search Across Computers” feature in version 3 of their Desktop Search is indeed a concern for enterprise organizations. But their answer is somewhat gauling. They say:
“At the end of the day, each company should make its own decision. If they are uncomfortable, they shouldn’t enable the feature,” Ku said. “It’s about what a company deems to be best corporate policy.”
This is true — but each company’s policy will only be as good as those that implement it. Since Google’s desktop search utility doesn’t have a simple method for administrators to limit the functionality of the tool (its either all or nothing, unless you have the enterprise tool) — all it takes is one person on a companies interanet to download, install and enable this feature and suddenly, the organization is exposed.
But as I said, this isn’t the type of answer that I would have expected from Google — a company who’s mantra is “do no evil”. While the company skirts close to a gray area — they certainly have provided software that potentially could be (and I’m sure has been) abused by its users simply because they don’t completely understand the new functionality.