Google: Can users trust it with their data?

Google Director of Engineering, Alan Warren, proudly disclosed to the New York software community Monday night that Google “safeguards” its users data across multiple redundant data storage facilities located throughout the world (see "Google NYC First Look: Top Google engineer talks to NYC software industry").  Google’s persistent storage of users’ personal data is not a risk-free proposition, however, for Google users.

Google Director of Engineering, Alan Warren, proudly disclosed to the New York software community Monday night that Google “safeguards” its users data across multiple redundant data storage facilities located throughout the world (see "Google NYC First Look: Top Google engineer talks to NYC software industry"). 

Google’s persistent storage of users’ personal data is not a risk-free proposition, however, for Google users.

Michael Arrington notes “security mishaps” that have adversely affected Google and its products and services saying Google hopes: 

to convince a lot of individuals and businesses to trust Google enough to store their documents on Google’s servers instead of their own computers, or servers under their control.

The fact that unauthorized document access is a simple password guess or government “request” away already works against them. But the steady stream of minor security incidents we’ve seen (many very recently) can also hurt Google in the long run. Running applications for businesses is serious stuff, and Google needs to be diligent about security.

Arrington is spot-on, but he does not fully address why users are warranted to be wary of trusting Google with their data. He says: 
Every security incident damages Google’s credibility and reputation. 

TRUE, but Google’s privacy policies in and of themselves should give prospective users of Google products and services considerable pause.

I often point out at this Digital Micro-Markets Blog that all users of Google products which track and store users' personal data are at risk from day one. GMail, Google Apps, Google Reader…

“Free Google GMail: The high price you pay” 

Do you believe the contents of every personal and business email you ever write or send should be recorded and permanently archived on third party servers located in countries throughout the world, to which you have no access?

If you are one of the millions of GMail users, you have indicated to Google that you most certainly do…

GMail users are enabling Google, a $115 billion market cap corporation, to create and perpetually archive histories of their personal and business communications. Google will have and control more data on individuals than individuals will have on themselves...MORE

“Google Apps is risky business”

Google makes its tempting let us be the experts while you run your business pitch hard to resist. However, organizations will resist if they are concerned about:

Ownership and control of proprietary data,

Data integrity and security,

Privacy of employee communications,

Control over content hosted,

Quality of Service guarantees,

Tech support…

Trusting Google Apps for Your Domain with your domain’s data is most certainly risky business...MORE

“Google Reader: Google playing with your privacy”

Google has released a “new user interface for Reader.” According to Google, the release ‘addresses many issues that users have had’ ..

Google invasion of user privacy is not mentioned.

Google invites all to “Use Google's web-based feed reader to keep track of your favorite web sites.”

How about Google? Google, the $122 billion market cap company, will be keeping track of “your favorite Web sites” every Internet step of the way…

Google’s labeling of products it releases to the public as “prototypes” for “play” does not make the products’ privacy risks fun and games...MORE

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