Google Desktop should concern Govt. IT managers

Gartner Group warns enterprises that Google Desktop poses "unacceptable" risks. Google agrees. Companies and government agencies should use Enterprise edition.

ZDNet UK reports that the Gartner Group is warning companies that the current beta of the latest Google Desktop poses an unacceptable security risk, and Google agrees. For government agencies, even though employees understand the dangers in handling classified files, unclassified computers running the standard Desktop product may wind up sending Google sensitive material.

The solution, says Gartner and Google is to run the Enterprise edition, which allows central control of the problematic "Share Across Computers" features, or not at all.

Google confirmed to ZDNet UK that data was temporarily transported outside of businesses when the Search Across Computers feature was used, and that this represented "as much of a security risk as e-mail does."

"Theoretically any intellectual property can be transferred outside of a company," Ku said. "We understand that there are a lot of security concerns about the Search Across Computers feature, but Google won't hold information unless the user or enterprise opts in (to the feature)."

Google said that security was the concern of individual businesses. "The burden falls on enterprises to look after security issues," Ku said. "Companies can disable the Search Across Computers facility."