The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the privacy and security measures of Gmail, Google Docs and Google’s other “cloud computing” services for consumers.
The complaint highlights Google’s recent security breach with Google Docs, citing this as one example of the dangers of putting consumers’ data in the cloud. The complaint also implores the FTC not only to investigate Google’s safety measures for cloud products, but also asks to hold Google accountable for any and all security breaches with their cloud-based applications. EPIC goes so far as to demand that the FTC prevent Google from offering any cloud computing services, including Gmail, until it installs heavier security safeguards.
That’s right: EPIC wants to take away your Gmail. Cloud computing is not a new technology and the Google Docs situation was certainly not the first security breach But now that consumer services in the cloud like Gmail, Google Docs and others are beginning to take off, privacy groups are suddenly waking up to the risks involved. We do tend to trust cloud services such as Web-based email, document, and photo storage without thinking too much about it. And better security is certainly needed. But this is not only a Google problem. It is an industry-wide problem. EPIC is trying to make an example out of Google because it is the big company everyone is scared of most.
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