Thursday, 28 August 2008

The Dangers of Google Docs?

Pirate vs. Ninja: Fight! by Dunechaser.
(image by Dunechaser)

Garrrr! I'm a big fan of the 'owl Goggle Docs thing (the book I recently authored with two friends could not have been done without it) but it now appears that there are some serious flaws in the design of Google docs which could accidentally allow randoms with similar names to yourself to get access to the mucky contents of your docs and spreadsheets. Ouch.

From the Bits blog at the NYT:

'There was a time when it would have taken a fair amount of criminal activity to get access to this much information about a company’s internal workings and Web site performance. Now an employee can accidentally drop it into the lap of a random outsider without even knowing that anything is amiss. That’s the power of cloud computing at work.

Most of the discussion about the security of online applications revolves around whether or not you can trust Google and its competitors to protect your data. ... Google could help with this by, for example, flashing a warning before you share a document with a person you have not exchanged e-mail with in Gmail. But in the end, security requires careful typing — and perhaps some careful decisions about whether some documents would be better left behind the corporate firewall.'

Amen to that brother. Google need to sort this out, before what's currently a superb service becomes another spam and identity theft boondoggle.
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