Google Desktop

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Do any of you know whether or not this is worthwhile ?


http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/21/technology/circuits/21stat.html?ex=1099442843&ei=1&en=8e4d8d0e04ba3ada


Phian
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More about google desktop
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    I tried it already and find it a new way to index your files, also Microsoft
    included it within it's new Partners package which you can download now from :

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/partnerpack/default.aspx

    Hope this could help you

    Shady

    "Phian" wrote:

    > Do any of you know whether or not this is worthwhile ?
    >
    >
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    > http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/21/technology/circuits/21stat.html?ex=1099442843&ei=1&en=8e4d8d0e04ba3ada
    >
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    > Phian
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  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "Phian" wrote:

    > Do any of you know whether or not this is worthwhile ?
    >
    >
    >
    > http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/21/technology/circuits/21stat.html?ex=1099442843&ei=1&en=8e4d8d0e04ba3ada
    >
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    > Phian
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    Is New Google Software Spyware?
    Permalink | Top

    There has been much uproar recently about a new search tool from Google, the
    Google Desktop Search. The software searches through the hard drive on the
    computer and allows someone to search the contents of every single file
    present. That includes searching files in another user's private folders.
    Potentially, someone could use this program to read another person's email.
    Some are calling this program spyware.

    I've thought about this for several days as to whether or not this makes the
    progrqam spyware. I have to say, I am disturbed by this piece of software.

    On one hand, it would be the perfect tool for someone to use to read the
    email saved in your private folders. In addition to allowing one user to read
    the private files of another user, Google Desktop also collects information
    from the machine on which it is installed.

    Google Desktop Search creates a unique tracking number and communicates with
    Google over the internet after it is installed. It also uses the same cookie
    set by google.com. This would allow it to associate the information sent to
    Google with your Google searches and other your use of other Google services.

    The program includes a backdoor autoupdater that cannot be disabled.
    Autoupdaters that cannot be disabled are one of my pet peeves. It
    demonstrates a lack of respect for the user by the developer of the software.
    No one has the right to install or alter software on someone's computer
    without their explicit permission. This backdoor updater also sends the
    unique tracking number back to Google.

    The following is from the program's privacy policy:

    What information does Google receive?

    By default, Google Desktop Search collects a limited amount of non-personal
    information from your computer and sends it to Google. This includes summary
    information, such as the number of searches you do and the time it takes for
    you to see your results, and application reports we'll use to make the
    program better. You can opt out of sending this information during the
    installation process or from the application preferences at any time.

    Personally identifying information, such as your name or address, will not
    be sent to Google without your explicit permission.

    How we use unique application numbers, cookies and related information.

    Your copy of Google Desktop Search includes a unique application number.
    When you install Google Desktop Search, this number and a message indicating
    whether the installation succeeded is sent back to Google so that we can make
    the software work better. Additionally, when Google Desktop Search
    automatically checks to see if a new version is available, the current
    version number and the unique application number are sent to Google. If you
    choose to send us non-personal information about your use of Google Desktop
    Search, the unique application number with this non-personal information also
    helps us understand how you use Google Desktop Search so that we can make it
    work better. The unique application number is required for Google Desktop
    Search to work and cannot be disabled.

    Google Desktop Search uses the same cookie as Google.com and other Google
    services. If you send us non-personal information about your Google Desktop
    Search use, we may be able to make Google services work better by associating
    this information with other Google services you use and vice versa. You can
    opt out of sending such non-personal information to Google during the
    installation process or from the application preferences at any time.

    On the other hand, spying on people is not the purpose of the software.
    Anyone using the program for that purpose is misusing it. Other programs also
    can search for text within files on the hard drive, including the text editor
    I use to write this newsletter.

    Windows does allow you to restrict access to your own private folders.
    Google Desktop Search cannot access your private files if you restrict access
    to them. Windows does not do this by default, so you will have to do that
    yourself.

    If you are using Windows XP with simple file sharing, open Windows Explorer
    to C:\documents and settings\. Find the folder with your user name,
    right-click on it and click properties. Click the sharing tab and check the
    box that says "Make this folder private".

    The software lets you opt out of sending any information back to Google,
    with the exception of the tracking number sent by the backdoor updater. In
    addition, installing the software itself is optional. You have to go to
    Google's web site to download it before you can install it.

    Although someone else with access to your computer can install the software
    and misuse it to spy on you, they also could just install specialized
    monitoring software for that same purpose. For that matter, they can just
    open Windows Explorer and open these files in a text editor.

    Is it spyware? After taking all of the above into account, I would have to
    say no. However, I do believe it is a dangerous piece of software. While its
    purpose is not to allow one person to spy upon another, it makes it far too
    easy to do just that. Combined with the backdoor updater, the comingling of
    the software with your google.com cookie and the information that it
    collects, Google Desktop Search is dangerously close to the edge of
    unacceptable behavior.
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