Mainstream Press Realizes Google Can Find Confidential Info

from the well,-look-at-that... dept

It’s no secret that people put all sorts of confidential documents, spreadsheets and databases online without any protection when they shouldn’t. It’s also no secret that in using some basic keywords in a search string on Google you can dig up those files. Now, however, even the mainstream press is beginning to notice this issue, and the Washington Post is running a long article on the fact that people are searching for confidential nuggets of info via Google – and finding it all the time. What’s interesting to me is that the backlash hasn’t been stronger – though, maybe that’s the next stage now that this story is going mainstream. I read the article half expecting people to blame either Google or the people doing the searching for the fact that this info was stored without any security whatsoever. Right now, though, most people seem to realize that the problem is with those who put the info online where they shouldn’t.

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Comments on “Mainstream Press Realizes Google Can Find Confidential Info”

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aNonMooseCowherd says:

bad info in the article

The article says that setting up a robots.txt will keep Google from searching the site, but neglects to mention that there is no way to enforce this, so even if Google obeys robots.txt files (which I assume it does), the documents are still accessible to any crawler that ignores robots.txt files.

The article also says: “It is unclear who is at fault when someone digs up a confidential document.” It should be perfectly clear that whoever put confidential documents on a publicly accessible web server is at fault.

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