Easing privacy concerns will be a hurdle for Google’s web-based storage service

November 27, 2007
If you thought Google wasn't really serious about taking on Microsoft for world domination, you might want to start accepting it.

Today's Wall Street Journal revealed game-changing plans by Google to launch the on-demand model to trump all other on-demand models. That's right, the mighty company from Mountain View, Calif. is close to unveiling a service that would provide internet-based storage for all of the stuff that users normally put on their hard drives, such as word-processing documents, spreadsheets, images and music.

Google would take control and permit users the ability to access and download these password-protected files through their internet browser instead of their desktop. This fundamental shift in the way we store our information likely would mean a huge cost savings for businesses, which could practically close down their data centers in place of this revolutionary, in-the-cloud model.

Of course, there's a big difference between a vendor who is providing you with a piece of software and a vendor responsible for storing (and protecting) kilobytes upon kilobytes of sensitive data. Privacy and performance issues are sure to arise. I would reason to guess that more than a few businesses might be reluctant to pass control of their information off to anyone, including an established, security-minded company such as Google.

"It is certainly approached with the utmost sensitivity on our end," a Google spokeswoman told the Journal. "We have extensive safeguards in place currently to protect our user data and we have a very strong track record in this regard."

We will see. And I'm guessing Microsoft won't go down without a fight. They surely will use the privacy/security angle as a way to discourage any potential defectors.
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