Αναζητήσεις πολύ προσωπικές από τη Google

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Αναζητήσεις πολύ προσωπικές από τη Google

Post by jimmyD » Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:56 pm

Η Google επεκτείνει τα σύνορα της αναζήτησης και στα PC. Η εταιρία έδωσε στην κυκλοφορία μια πρώιμη έκδοση ενός desktop προγράμματος που παρέχει τη δυνατότητα στους χρήστες να ψάχνουν αρχεία τόσο στους σκληρούς δίσκους του υπολογιστή όσο και στο internet. Η διευθύντρια καταναλωτικών προϊόντων της Google, Marissa Mayer, το χαρακτήρισε ως «τη φωτογραφική μνήμη του υπολογιστή».

Καθώς ο τομέας των μηχανών αναζήτησης μετατρέπεται σε μια ιδιαίτερα ανταγωνιστική αρένα, η Google θέλει με την κυκλοφορία αυτού του εργαλείου, να γίνει ακόμη πιο απαραίτητη στους χρήστες και να διατηρήσει τα αδιαμφισβήτητα πρωτεία της. Το εργαλείο, το οποίο διατίθεται δωρεάν, επιτρέπει την αναζήτηση αρχείων σε Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint και σε plain text. Επιπλέον, ψάχνει ιστοσελίδες στον ΙΕ και μηνύματα στον AOL Instant Messenger.

Αναφορικά με τα θέματα ασφαλείας που εύλογα εγείρονται, η εταιρία εμφανίζεται καθησυχαστική: «Είναι απόλυτα προσωπικό εργαλείο. Η Google δεν έχει πρόσβαση στον σκληρό δίσκο όταν γίνεται αναζήτηση αρχείου».

Παρόμοια desktop search προγράμματα είναι ήδη διαθέσιμα από εταιρίες, όπως τις Enfish, X1, dtSearch και Blinkx, αλλά είναι η πρώτη φορά που μία ευρέως γνωστή φίρμα κυκλοφορεί τέτοιο προϊόν.

Τα βήματα της Google σκοπεύουν να ακολουθήσουν τόσο η Microsoft όσο και οι Apple, AOL και Ask Jeeves.

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Post by ttoppouzokypraios » Sat Oct 23, 2004 4:15 pm

Does Google Desktop Search Pose Risks?

The powerful search application may be too good at what it does, experts say.

Tom Spring, PC World
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

If you use shared or public computers, you have a new privacy risk to consider: Google Desktop Search.

Announced last week and currently available in a beta version, Google Desktop Search allows you to scour your hard drive for lost or forgotten documents. But it just may be too good at what it does, according to privacy and security experts, who say it poses risks for users who don't understand its power.

Once installed, Google Desktop Search scours a computer for Microsoft Office files, AOL IM chat sessions, cached Web pages, and Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail files, and creates a searchable index. What's alarming to many is that Google Desktop Search can resurrect Web pages that were not meant to be viewed again, including online banking and brokerage transactions, as well as Web-based e-mail received and sent on the computer by previous users.

"This is basically a spying program," says Richard Smith, an independent privacy and security consultant. "Like a gun, it is extremely useful and potentially very dangerous."

Google, however, says the application does not pose security or privacy risks. Google Desktop Search can be configured not to index specific domains or secure Web pages, says Marissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer Web products. This would prevent it from storing copies of the secure pages used by financial sites, or from storing Web pages from a domain such as "mail.yahoo.com," she says.

The beta version of the program can only be installed by one Windows user profile. That means if a second person logs onto the same computer using a different user profile they cannot access or install Google Desktop Search, says Mayer. She says that Google Desktop Search is not intended to be used on computers that are shared with more than one person.

Web Pages Resurrected

In informal tests, Google Desktop Search was able to bypass user names and passwords that secure Web-based e-mail programs and allow users to view personal messages sent and received using the Web-based e-mail services of America Online, Microsoft's Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail.

Because of this, Smith and other privacy experts say the beta version of Google Desktop Search presents a security threat for insecure and shared computers running the software in the workplace and in public settings like Internet cafes.

By searching for "compose" and "inbox" using Google Desktop Search, you're able to view Web pages that the application had indexed. The query results can't be accessed directly, but Google Desktop Search creates and stores its own cached versions of search results on your PC. Cached versions of sent and received e-mail from services like Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL can easily be viewed.

Google Desktop Search also allows you to view cached versions of Web pages from online banks and brokerages.

Security or Privacy Threat?

Privacy experts at the say Google Desktop Search is not a privacy threat, rather a threat to computer security. "If you lose control of your computer, someone could quickly pry into password protected information," says Kevin Bankston, an attorney with the group.

Google Desktop Search could actually be a privacy boon by allowing people to save Web pages and e-mail locally on their PCs instead of relying on third-party Web-based services, Bankston says.

The application does pose a security risk at the workplace, says Ken Dunham, a security expert at iDefense. "This is another vector for someone to access sensitive data on someone else's machine," Dunham says.

He says the Desktop Search tool could give the keys to your PC's front door to the wrong people. "There are plenty of ways to get at personal information on a PC. The question is how easy do you want to make it?"

Dunham says that Google Desktop Search represents a "low" but potentially dangerous security threat for companies.

Bruce Schneier, a security expert with Counterpane Internet Security, says if you use a public computer terminal--with or without Google Desktop Search--you should assume that everything you type can be read.

Schneier and others don't recommend installing Google Desktop Search on work or school computers you can't control. They recommend disabling the part of Google Desktop Search that creates copies of secure Web pages and preventing the software from storing the pages of Web-based e-mail accounts you want to keep private.

"This is an amazing product," Smith says. "But it can also be a real privacy threat to unsophisticated computer users."

πηγή: [url=http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,118201,00.asp]PCWorld.com
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Post by AmmarkoV » Fri Nov 05, 2004 6:27 pm

Google Expands Search
Empire with Life Search

By Jeremy Mikesell

Mountain View, CA - Following quickly after the beta release of it new Desktop Search technology. Google unveiled the latest product in their ever-growing line of search utilities, Google Life Search.


Tom Richards uses Google's Life Search to find his suit jacket.

After installation on a computer in your apartment or home, Google Life Search uses a stream of magnetically targeted electrons to index a user's memory. The results are then accessible through a web browser.

Laura Casper, Google's director of consumer web products states, "We think of this as the photographic memory you never had. Simply type in what you are looking for and Google Life Search will quickly locate that item. For example if I enter 'car keys' Life Search responds with the result 'In your pocket', and there they are right where it said! There is also a cached version to show you where your keys were."

Google based the software on its internet search engine, and technology it acquired from MindScan, which it picked up with money raised in its IPO. It takes up to three days to index a person's entire brain, during which time the person must remain motionless in front of the computer. "That shouldn't be hard for the geeks interested in the service," said Casper.

Several regular contributors to the tech site Slashdot posted reports of suspected problems in the new search algorithm saying they entered the term "life" and were presented with a "Result Not Found" error. They were presented, however, with several ads for internet dating services and online gaming sites.

Google stressed the company will not be able to peer into people's thoughts. Privacy advocates, however, claim this is another step by the search engine giant into people's personal lives. Joshua Brandt from Public Privacy Research an independent privacy review firm charges, "This is the end of the personal privacy. Google now knows everything you read on the web, they search your e-mail and now they know about the dope hiding in your sock drawer."

Brandt offered to show how this information was transmitted secretly to Google headquarters, but was unable to locate his laptop computer, which he claims he "just saw a few minutes ago in his office."

In response to privacy concerns Google's Casper claims, "These accusations are groundless and Brandt's laptop is exactly where he left it this morning; in the trunk of his car."

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