Google to Calendar users: Read the instructions

Google to Calendar users: Read the instructions

Summary: Google to Calendar Users: Read the Instructions!

TOPICS: Google

In the wake of risky Google Calendar use by corporate staff within enterprises, Google wants to make one thing clear: Google takes user privacy very seriously, especially the Calendar team.

In Google Office enterprise security snafu I discuss how sensitive information about private corporate events is being shared, unwittingly or not, via company postings within the Google Calendar application.

The Google Calendar team is on the case and writes to advise Google Apps, Premiere that is, to the rescue:

This is exactly the type of mistake we help IT administrators in organizations prevent through the business version of Google Calendar, which is part of the Google Apps platform of hosted applications. In the cases cited, each worker had taken their business event information and put it on a personal calendar that they chose to make publicly accessible.

If businesses deploy Google Calendar through Google Apps, IT administrators can choose settings so that users can only share free/busy information with outside viewers, or nothing at all.

For those corporate staffers who nevertheless insist on going their own way, the Google Calendar team reiterates the Calendar "how-to," in which Google has supreme confidence:

As for those individuals who are out there using Google Calendar for their personal calendar, their calendar information is private unless they specify otherwise. We make it clear to users what each sharing setting means. Users can grant a great degree of access -- entire calendars or certain events to friends, family, colleagues, etc -- without making the information fully public and searchable on the web. Currently, if you do decide to make your calendar public, a dialog box appears -- "Are you sure you want to share this calendar with everyone? Public calendars appear in Google Calendar searches" -- at the time you try to click "Share all information on this calendar with everyone." You cannot proceed without acknowledging that box. We also have FAQs to make sure our users understand what "public" really means.

Is that so hard?

SEE: Google vs. Microsoft Office? Yay! Google Spreadsheets gets charts

ALSO: Google aims to usurp campus email systems and Google undercuts Microsoft Office and Google Apps data risks: Security vs. privacy

Topic: Google

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1 comment
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  • As stated before...

    Google Calendar is very useful tool. Like all tools it is important to learn how to
    use them properly. I must say it is slightly surprising that a person in an IT
    position would be a participant in this 'leak' for lack of a better term.

    Google Calendar settings are easy to use and we here at the Calgoo office default
    our business calendars to private. That way there is a number of steps one must
    go through to make a calendar public, and thus very hard to do by accident.

    Perhaps the instructions / best practices are the needed improvement points here.
    Google did not cause an information leak - there was just a problem with the user
    not knowing how to use the settings.

    - Calgoo