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More trouble on Google’s cloud

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Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 3:21 pm

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A security consultant has found more problems with Google Docs, a so called "cloud computing" application.

The revelation by Robin Wauters on TechCrunch explains how Ade Barkah found that if you embed an image in a supposedly protected document and load it on Google’s server, people you’ve not given access to the file can still download the image.

Google is one of the main advocates of "cloud computing."  Under this model a user needs only an Internet connection and a browser. Software applications and data reside on a server and are accessed via the Internet.

Google Docs and Gmail are excellent examples of cloud computing.

A key to success is that the data kept on the "cloud" must be secure. Earlier this month Google acknowledged security problems and said it fixed those issues.

Apparently there are still problems. I’d say the outlook for security and privacy with the Internet giant is at best cloudy.

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This post was written by:

John M. Simpson

- who has written 362 posts on Inside Google.

John M. Simpson is a leading voice on technological privacy and stem cell research issues. His investigations this year of Google’s online privacy practices and book publishing agreements triggered intense media scrutiny and federal interest in the online giant’s business practices. His critique of patents on human embryonic stem cells has been key to expanding the ability of American scientists to conduct stem cell research. He has ensured that California’s taxpayer-funded stem cell research will lead to broadly accessible and affordable medicine and not just government-subsidized profiteering. Prior to joining Consumer Watchdog in 2005, he was executive editor of Tribune Media Services International, a syndication company. Before that, he was deputy editor of USA Today and editor of its international edition. Simpson taught journalism a Dublin City University in Ireland, and consulted for The Irish Times and The Gleaner in Jamaica. He served as president of the World Editors Forum. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Harpur College of SUNY Binghamton and was a Gannett Fellow at the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii. He has an M.A. in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.

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