David Kirkpatrick

April 21, 2010

The downside of Google’s Chrome OS?

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:04 pm

Privacy issues. I consider privacy the big bugaboo of cloud computing in general, and the simple nature of Google’s Chrome operating system and the company’s penchant for (really its corporate raison d’etre) data mining the potential for serious abuse of user data is there.

I don’t have a problem with all data mining and I certainly understand what Google does and why. I absolutely love the Chrome browser and recommend it for everyone, and I use Gmail for a number of secondary email accounts, but I’m not even close to ready to trusting all my data to a cloud controlled by Google, or any other entity for that matter.

From the link:

The naming scheme is no accident. It reflects Google’s ambition to create an operating system that is all but indistinguishable from the browser. Gone will be the normal files, directories, and applications. Instead, Chrome OS will put Google’s cloud computing infrastructure–services and applications delivered over the Internet from its vast array of servers–at the heart of practically everything you do. Within a few years, Chrome OS could become the planet’s simplest, fastest, and safest environment for personal computing. But there’s a catch: it will also make Google the gatekeeper of your personal information. It could let Google delve further into your data to make its online advertising business more profitable than ever.

There is one upside — your “backup” data is located in your computer, so when it craps out the real data still resides on Google’s servers and isn’t lost. That alone might make the Chrome OS attractive to some people.

Also from the link:

Google’s engineers have explained that Chrome OS will use your computer’s hard drive as a cache, making copies of whatever you’re working on so that you won’t burn up your netbook’s wireless data plan (or your batteries). All that personal data will be encrypted, so you won’t need to worry if you happen to lose the machine. And if for some reason your computer gets corrupted–perhaps by a virus–you’ll be able to wipe it and start over without losing any work at all, since your data is stored in the cloud.

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