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Monday, February 13, 2006

Google Opens Pandora's Box

The latest iteration of Google Desktop includes file sharing function with an indexing feature that requires temporarily copying all of the content you want indexed onto Google's servers. Google is making it easier for individuals to share content from multiple computers as well as groups to share the contents of their hard drives with each other.

The company says it will encrypt the data, won't make it available to its employees, and will delete it after 30 days. Google puts all of the files in a single location to create a master index, but this same function could be done on any of the individual's computers, as long as their is enough hard drive space.

You've been able to share files between computers for many years without having to offload data to central servers, so it's a lame excuse to require it just to build an index. And while creating file sharing networks that can potentially subvert copyrights is old hat, Google Desktop will make it much easier for friends to find shared music files, videos (thanks to the new TiVo-to-PC products), and (dare I say it) pornography.

Inevitably, some folks will abuse the software for these purposes, so I hope Google is hiring lawyers as fast as it is engineers.

By John Gartner at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

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