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Google Releases Confidential User Information

Google's Security Guard While last week’s suggestion that Yahoo was switching browser preferences without explicit permission, was a black mark for the company, it doesn’t come close to the allegations that Google has revealed confidential information about its users.

TechCrunch is reporting that Google’s anti-phising blacklist contained confidential usernames and passwords of individuals, including logins for bank accounts etc.

Google has not publicly discussed the error, although they quietly removed the offending data. They have, however, acknowledged it in email correspondence with Finjan, which was forwarded to me. Google has since removed the confidential data.

Ok, I can take a search engine switching my settings, but dumping my username and passwords on to the web? Very bad! Especially as Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Marketing Pilgrim how AOL’s screw-up would not happen at Google.

Lastly, with AOL accidentally releasing a whole bunch of private data, how likely is it that the same could happen with Google? It’s not going to happen, according to Schmidt, “we have very specific security plans for attackers” and their compliance with Sarbanes Oxley requires them to protect the data. I’m sure AOL had the same standards, but it’s clear that Schmidt knows that Google is under a larger microscope and if it wants searchers to use more and more of their services, they’ll need to protect personal data at all costs. From Schmidt’s tone and body language, it’s not going to happen on his watch.