Google desktop search has a security hole

Google released a piece of software a few months ago that would let you use Google to search your own hard disk, with results displayed just like Google displays search results from the Web. Sounds good, right?

Aside from the obvious privacy issues (Google swears they won't do anything with the data except target ads to you better, but they can change that policy anytime they like), I'd never let a third party search my own hard drive.

Cnet has an article about a serious software flaw in the software that would let a third party capture the results of what is stored on your hard drive. Not only that, the third party could then instruct the Google software on your hard drive to do searches and return the content not to Google but somewhere else.

Google is working on a fix. The article also notes that Microsoft and Yahoo! are working on similar software. There is really zero benefit to consumers from this. Standalone software that searches the content of hard drives has been around for ages, and the Mac comes with this capability built in to the operating system. There is no free lunch here. The "free" software gives the provider (Google, Microsoft) a window into your personal and business information. Somehow the promise that they won't do anything bad with it does not convince me, and "better ads" is not something I've ever woken up wishing for....."Boy, I hope I get more and better ads from Google today!"

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