Valid Privacy Concerns With Google’s New Tools

Hi Fred, I have a question about the use of the "Google Bar"  and the "Google Local
Search Bar".  I have been reading a lot about underhanded methods used by Google to mine personal information and then phone it home. What is your take on this? See the latest info on the IE "Google Bar" and particularly a memo from Google outlining some of their plans at the bottom of that article.  —Dieter Schack

That article ("Google’s new toolbar: Now more evil than ever") is kind of out there in its harshness. But, while I don’t think there’s anything to gain by claiming "The Sky Is Falling," there *is* some truth to the concerns expressed in that article.

If you use Google’s new tools— Gmail, Google Desktop Search, Google Groups 2, Google Deskbar, Web Alerts, Search by Location, Google Glossary, Google News Alerts, Froogle, and more— you need to be aware of what the risks are, so you can make an informed judgment as to the risks and benefits.

I’ve looked at the vulnerabilities, tried to weigh the pros and cons of
the various Google services, and come up with what I think is a
reasonable approach that addresses some of the very real privacy and
security issues that the growing Google tool suite poses.

I’ve spelled it all out— including telling you which Google services I use and which I avoid— in a new InformationWeek article available (free!) at .

Click on over, and check it out. See you there!

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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.