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Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Security risk in new Google search tool

People accessing PCs in a public or workplace environment need to be aware of the security risks posed by Google's new search tool, security experts warn.

Developed as a quick tool for locating data, Google Desktop Search also allows others to view a user's personal or sensitive information contained in e-mails they exchanged. This could include passwords, conversations with doctors, or viewed Web pages detailing online purchases, says security consultant Richard Smith.

"It's clearly a very powerful tool for locating information on the computer. On the flip side of things, it's a perfect spy program."

According to AP, the tool ? publicly released on Thursday in a beta test phase for computers running the latest Windows operating systems ? automatically records the e-mail users read through Outlook, Outlook Express or the Internet Explorer browser.

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