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Google-internal Data Restrictions  (View post)

Seth Finkelstein [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
12 years ago3,688 views

1) I think a certain nuance was lost in the excerpting – the full sentence is: "Any intelligence agency moles at Google (and it's likely there are a few) will not have a public record identifying them as potential secret agents."

That was mainly to intended to say people should lay off Matt Cutts for his student co-op work at the NSA, and it's a distraction – there's likely intelligence agency moles, but it's not him.

2) There's never going to be an official answer which says "Security? What security? We believe in open sourcing our business records. We don't take any precautions, anyone whatsoever can trapse through them at will".
  

mak [PersonRank 5]

12 years ago #

Scary!
I never thought of it this way before. I hope the restrictions they put on their staff are really effective, specially for Google Checkout, where they have to store credit cards info.

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Thanks for getting an official response, Philipp. I don't think we'd mentioned this part before: "access is more strictly limited and includes additional security measures such as tracking who accesses which data and when."

So not only is such access restricted to a small set of people, but those people have to assume that all their interactions with sensitive data are recorded; that provides even more protections against abuse.

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

P.S. Philipp, can you ask for similar responses from other search engines as well, to get their specific protections on the record?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Good idea, I just sent off this question to Yahoo and Microsoft.

Michael Zimmer [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

"tracking who accesses which data and when" is not a security feature, but an investigative feature.

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

[put at-character here]Michael: It is both. It's security via deterrence – much like CCTV cameras. It works by making sure would-be 'thieves' know that if they try it they will be caught. If nothing else it prevents casual information stealing from people who might ask themselves, "What's the harm – who's ever going to find out?".

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> P.S. Philipp, can you ask for similar responses
< from other search engines as well, to get their
> specific protections on the record?

The post has now been updated.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Why even ask, “Are you a journalist?” Shouldn't their answer always be the same no matter who you are? Anyway, had they spent 2 minutes Googling – or maybe Yahooing in their case ;-) – they could easily have found out who you are and saved themselves the embarrassment...

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

“Are you a journalist?”

And what was your answer to the question?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Well, I just went on to explain the background of Google Blogoscoped, though I had already provided a URL/ blog name signature and introduced myself as coming from a news site in the original email. But I really loved Yahoo's answer, as well as their subsequent silence... just posted a follow-up on this!

Zim [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Person X from Google needs some records from database D. He gets them (the query is logged). After using them for work (real work) he saves a copy of them in a pen drive (for example), to send it to someone outside.
How can they prevent that?
It's a matter of trust too, you can't be behind all your employees...

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