Hey, uh… Google?

Two-FaceSo first you get props for telling the government to go eff itself and then you go and basically give the government an awesome loophole to circumvent the fourth amendment.


No really — you do realize what you’ve done here with Google Desktop, right? By storing in plain text all the contents of someone’s harddrive on your servers, the government now no longer needs a search warrant to go after that data… they only need a subpeona for your servers. If it’s my data, I don’t even need to be notified!

And this is exactly the point that the EFF has made. I mean, hey, props for taking on the government, but history’s proven that no matter how big you are, you’re still not bigger than the government — regardless of your stock price, but dude, they are the ones who enforce the legal system that makes it possible for you to exist. Don’t fuggit that.

And yeah yeah, I know you’ve built in a means for getting my data off your servers, but the fact that it’ll take 60 days seems a bit… worrisome… as well:

If you cancel your Google Account or uninstall Google Desktop, the files indexed in the Search Across Computers feature will no longer be accessible through Google Desktop and may remain on our servers for up to 60 days before being deleted.

I mean, that’s kind of like leaving your credit card receipts and wallet at your ex-girlfriend’s place and not being able to make sure that indeed she’s not using it for nefarious purposes (or sharing it with her new boyfriend who’s in the FBI) for two months. Except my ex-girlfriends don’t tend to keep my data in a vault behind some Fort Knoxian security systems. But I digress.

Seriously dudes, ‘sup wit dat? You’re reaaaaaally startin’ to freak me out.

Author: Chris Messina

Head of West Coast Business Development at Republic. Ever-curious product designer and technologist. Hashtag inventor. Previously: Molly.com (YC W18), Uber, Google.

One thought on “Hey, uh… Google?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: