Google Docs Has Privacy Problems

    September 19, 2007

Just 2 days ago, Google Docs’s Presentation functionality was launched.

Philip Lenssen through a post called “Google Privacy Problems Introduced Through Presentations” says that this feature “introduced a privacy vulnerability for Google Accounts”.

"Using a straightforward hack discovered by TomHTML (which I can detail once Google security got some time to tackle the message they got from us, if they consider it a problem indeed), you can use Google’s Presentations service to grab the name/ Gmail email address of people visiting your website… without them confirming that they want to share their name/ email with you, or share the fact they’re visiting your site! Note this only works when the visitor is also signed in to their Google Account, but other than that requires no special programming capabilities (it may or may not work in every context/ with every browser)."

Another funny complaint was posted by Achille who said:

"I emailed mysef a PowerPoint file this morning, every 30 minutes I keep getting the same document added to my account, it’s stuck in a loop of some kind and it’s broken."

Anyway, after all the problems, the same discussion group posted a message saying,

"Update: Google informed me that the bug is fixed. My tests show this seems to be the case indeed – I can’t reproduce the privacy vulnerability anymore."

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