Google & private files

  anchor 10:14 14 Feb 2006

I see that the current poll concerns Google possibly retaining private files. I have not heard about this, but would like more information.

  spuds 10:54 14 Feb 2006

I think that you will find that this due to tightening up because of State Security and possible Terrorist activities. Many companies keep this type of information,which is available for inspection by 'authorised' personnel.You may find on the whole, that many people are possibly completely unaware that this type of activities as been going on for ages.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 12:14 14 Feb 2006

ISPs have to retain all customer information for 6 years. This includes how long you were using the Net and the domains visited. I would imagine Google have been doing the same on their sites for years as this information is needed so that they can evolve their pricing structure for advertisers. However I cannot fathom why they would want to keep 'private files' as I cannot see a link to this.

The net is an open gateway source so very little, if anything, is actually private and people need to be aware of this if they are concerned about privacy. personally I really do not mind if Google keep my private files as they are triple dull but it could be of concern to some I suppose.

Moral is keep private files totally separate from your computer.


  bremner 13:47 14 Feb 2006

I too would be interested to know exactly what is meant by private files.

I have no issues with Google keeping my web history but I would not personally classify those as "private files".

  anchor 13:52 14 Feb 2006


I agree, that is the point of my question. What do Google mean by private files?.

  iambeavis 14:00 14 Feb 2006

I think this may be of some relevance - click here

  GANDALF <|:-)> 14:18 14 Feb 2006

It appears to be an option to put private files on Google servers, for remote access, wherever you are. I don't see any problem with this as other companies offer a similar service.


  bremner 16:22 14 Feb 2006

I have just read the FE's article in the latest PCA and it seems that the data required to be retained is:

Web history including dates and times visited, words entered in the search box and
a record of e mail traffic excluding the content.

When I think of private files I think of Office documents, financial details, etc. It may be semantics but I think that the poll is rather misleading, there is no requirement to "have copies of my private files"

  dmc727 16:44 14 Feb 2006

In a nutshell, from what I’ve read, the EU recently (Dec 05) approved rules making telephone and internet companies keep records for up to two years.

a) details that can trace land or mobile telephone calls

b) time / length of calls

c) mobile phone call locations

d) and internet e-mail / internet history (not content).

I was told, think at least twice about online activities because the day may come when it needs explaining publicly.

  Forum Editor 17:44 14 Feb 2006

is the fact that the latest version of Google's desktop search includes a facility that will allow you to search your desktop over multiple computers. If you travel a lot on business you would be able to search your home computer's files from your laptop, halfway around the globe.

"Very handy" I hear a mass of business travellers say, and indeed it is, but...............

In order to search your home computer, files must be copied across to a Google server, so you can access them on your laptop when travelling, even if your home machine is turned off. I've just heard that 'Ting' sound haven't I?

Google's servers are secure - I'm not for a moment suggesting otherwise - and your data will be safe with them, but.............

Suppose, just suppose, that the US (or UK) government served notice on Google that under the terms of the anti-terrorism/organised crime laws they wanted Google to supply them with all files currently being held on the servers. What then?

That's why I posted the poll. If I had given my reasons in advance there would have been no point to the final question, and I wanted to know if most people had heard about this or not.

I hope that helps, anchor?

  dmc727 18:03 14 Feb 2006

“just suppose, that the US (or UK) government served notice on Google that under the terms of the anti-terrorism/organised crime laws they wanted Google to supply them with all files currently being held on the servers. What then?”

Well it’s happened…….

And guess what, whereas big names have rolled over in the US, Google is going to put up a fight. It will be interesting to see which way the cookie crumbles – sorry for the pun.

“The Internet community has been buzzing for the past 10 days about the U.S. Department of Justice's demand for search data from the world's leading search engines. Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft have all reportedly complied with the request; however Google refused, paving the way for a major court battle in the months ahead……..”

:click here

Good for Google and I hope some benefits come out of it for the consumer.

The global internet is no doubt a continually moving tiger with us all riding its back. You wonder where will we all be in ten years time – less and less privacy by the look of it.

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