Gov't goes Google

Laura Sucheski: Today Google announced the launch of Google applications specifically for use by federal, state, and local government agencies. Google, which has received government and media attention for its questionable uses of private information, says that the applications have passed federal muster and been certified by the Federal Information Security Management Act

Google’s powerful apps have the potential to do great things to improve access to unclassified information and public records.  The city of Los Angeles has already signed a contract with Google for Government and plans to switch their 34,000-employee network to the system.

Google assures consumers that government data will be stored separately from general user data. Still, the Los Angeles Police Department has expressed concerns that use of Google apps put them in a gray area with respect to meeting Department of Justice security clearance requirements.   Will the Google employees who potentially could access to government users’ application information have to receive federal security clearances, or should they just take Google’s word for it that the data won’t be touched?  Considering Google’s been under fire recently from privacy concerns, including inadvertently collecting WiFi network data, I’d err on the side of caution if I were a government agency.

Here’s the scary thing: merging the power of the free market with the government’s snooping ability!

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