Saturday, February 27, 2010

GW: Keeping You Safe

Google has gotten a lot of buzz recently, and GW student email uses a Google server, so all of us have a right to be a little concerned over our privacy. Do not fear, for those students who are concerned about who has what information about you, GWMail, does not includee Google Buzz, it cannot be turned on, and thus there are no privacy issues (other than those already present when using GWMail.)

There is no expectation that all students use their address exclusively, and administrators know that. Given the substantial change within Gmail, the university failed to take action to alert its users that it would not impact the GW community. The privacy breech made its way through the internet, and GW students had a legitimate right to fear that their accounts could be compromised through Google Buzz, and the University failed to act in the best interest of their students.

For students like me who simply forward their GWMail to a Gmail account, there is a major privacy issue present. When the system was created your information became public, so now what you do online is now available to your friends, exes, professors, and anyone else who you do not want to know what you read on Google Reader, or your other web movements.
In a CNET news article, Google responded to Buzz concerns by saying:
“We designed Buzz to make it easy for users to connect with other people and have conversations about the things that interest them. Buzz was launched only a week ago. We've already made a few changes based on user feedback, and we have more improvements in the works."

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