Fred Langa’s latest article is up, and this time he turns his attentions to Google and whether there are privacy issues with using too many of its services. The first two pages are okay, but on the start of the third page he makes this statement:
My recommendation is to use Google’s services, but with caution, and only when it makes sense. The main Google search engine is still unrivalled, for example: It makes sense to use it. But there are many local desktop-search tools available; and, being local, they keep their indexes and search results local and private. Why would you really need a Google-based desktop search? The short answer is: You don’t.
Fred seems to get the impression that Google Desktop Search stores its indexes on Google’s servers. It doesn’t. Just like pretty much every other desktop search tool, its indexes are stored locally, in the user’s local application data folder (
C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Desktop Search or equivalent). Even in a network environment they are only stored on the local machine and not on a central file store. Fred’s claim that it doesn’t is just plain wrong.
I used to really trust Fred’s views but recently his articles appear to have been written in a rush and without proper fact-checking – he was guilty of it with a Firefox article last month. Now I don’t feel as if I can take his ideas so seriously, which is a shame since I used to respect him a lot.