Group Warns of Google Browsing, E-mail

Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 10:17 am

    (Click here to watch TV news segment.)

    LOS ANGELES, CA — Consumer Watchdog warned Tuesday that Google Web
    browsing and e-mail services may not be private and secure. If fact,
    the consumer group says national security could be at risk.

    All e-mail services, not just Google, can have security issues if the
    user doesn’t take the proper precautions. But Tuesday, Consumer
    Watchdog pointed out some specific issues with Google.

    Consumer Watchdog is a consumer advocacy group that believes Google’s
    e-mail service, called Gmail, is not private or secure. And Consumer
    Watchdog says the security problem is not only with Gmail users, but
    also with those who may not have Gmail but correspond with Gmail users.

    Consumer Watchdog said Tuesday that members of Congress have been
    solicited by Google to use their Gmail service and Google’s browser,
    called Chrome, but that could put the nation’s security at risk.

    But in talking to Google, the company said it is comfortable with its
    security but it is willing to make some changes. Here is a statement
    from a Google spokesperson:

    "We build strong privacy and security protections into all Google
    products, and users can control their privacy settings, such as turning
    on encryption in Gmail or going ‘off the record’ in Google Talk, or
    even using some services anonymously. Our team has spoken with Consumer
    Watchdog, and we welcome feedback from users and consumer advocates on
    potential new features and privacy controls."

    According to Google, users can add security to their Gmail accounts by
    simply going into "settings" and turning on the "secure sockets layer,"
    also known as SSL. And when using their browser called Chrome, users
    can open the Incognito window to hide their activity on the Internet.


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