Privacy Groups Lobby Against Gmail, Picasa
Cloud computing is up for hot debate among privacy groups these days - and Google is in the hot seat. The issue? Your privacy. It appears Google might not be doing all they could be to protect sensitive user data.
And one group is even suggesting that Gmail be shut down. You heard me right…shut down. Now before you start panicking and wondering were this is going…this was only one extreme suggestion if the FTC determined that Google was only “protecting” your data with one flimsy password like “search engine”. We’re not quite at that point yet.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has petitioned the FTC to investigate privacy concerns over the piles of online services Google offers. Recently Google Docs came under fire when a security blip made previously private documents visible to the public. While I wouldn’t use Google Docs for information that I see as sensitive and confidential, the point remains the same - if you want it to be private…it should stay private.
So what’s next? The FTC is aware (and has been aware) of this issue and will surely keep an eye on things - if another Google Docs incident comes up, then it’s likely the issue of privacy in cloud computing will need to be addressed more directly. In the meantime, Google’s main issue is to manage the public perception of their products properly…and try to reduce any fears or reservations about privacy that might get blown out of proportion (rightly or not) as a result of this issue.