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Google Desktop 3: Convenience vs. Privacy
Author: Brian Anderson
Source: Google
Purchase: N/A
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Google Desktop 3:  Convenience vs. Privacy
February 24, 2006

Conclusion - Is it Worth it?

As I said in the beginning, and through out this article, only you can decided if the convenience offered by this new feature in Google Desktop is worth both the real and potential loss of privacy. I also think I have been pretty clear with my conclusion that I do not think it is. To the fact that I have added Google Desktop to the list of forbidden software at the company I work for, and have taken the time to write this article to help educate the readers. I hope that you have seen both the real and potential dangers that are offered by the "Share Across Computers" feature. Not only that, but perhaps start thinking about features not only offered by Google Desktop, but other software vendors. Most importantly keep in mind that when someone offers you a free software product that is actually useful, they are doing something to get money on it (most of the time), and that generally means selling your information. This happens either on an individual basis or collectively as a group, and generally to advertisers that are interested in using that information.

When reading this article you have noticed that I have had to make a lot of different assumptions. It is up to you to decide if any (or all) of these are good assumptions, or if I am just a paranoid security freak (which is not something I completely deny) who is convinced that the world is out to get me. I also offer Google a chance to communicate with me on any incorrect assumptions I have made, to clarify their points, and to hopefully share more information about what they do with your files and information. While I doubt they will take the time to even acknowledge this article, the offer stands.

I also encourage you to do more research on this, and your general privacy. Places like have good articles on this, as do places like Electronic Frontier Foundation. Look around and spend some time reading the fine print, the Privacy Policies, and FAQ's of your favorite websites and software companies. You might find that your information and your privacy are given up all too frequently for all too little in return.

Thanks, and please feel free to talk more about this in our forums, or contact me personally at if you have any additional comments, questions, or to share any additional information.

Please drop by the Forum and feel free to post any comments or questions.

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