Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pattern Finder: Google Apps: The Latest Glitch--Marking Private Documents Public

A timely reality check from Guy Creese; see his full post for more details

Google, of course, is soft-pedaling the issue, estimating that it affected less that 0.05% of the documents stored in Google Apps. However, if you do the math, the number of affected documents runs into the hundreds of thousands. As of September 2008, Google was saying 500,000 companies were using Google Apps, with 3,000 companies signing up per day. That comes out to roughly 800,000 companies now (500,000 + 300,000 [3,000 x 20 business days in a month, times five months (October-February)]. Assuming each company has 50 documents stored (a conservative number), that comes out to 40 million documents. 0.05% of that number is 200,000 documents: not a small number. In addition, I would argue the scenario Google describes is the one you would take with laid off employees--as employees, they would have had access to the documents; after you laid them off, you would have stopped their access to the whole set of documents in a library. So while the percentage of affected documents is low, the scenario is one that could do you damage.

p.s. the post title is now out-of-date; the latest (publicized) glitch was yesterday’s Gmail failure

Pattern Finder: Google Apps: The Latest Glitch--Marking Private Documents Public

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