Thousands of sensitive documents that violate privacy laws are currently available on the internet. These documents belong to hospitals, schools, and corporations. Most of these organizations are unaware that they are in violation of privacy law. The sensitive documents were found among many Google Drive users.
ARS Technica reported that security firm Compaas trawled through Google Docs and Google Drive to discover the documents. According to the security firm, these organizations have run afoul of consumer security law. Compaas COO Doron David said the documents contained a lot of sensitive patient information.
“We found a couple hospitals that had breaches in HIPAA compliance. There was patient information, what types of surgeries they had, social security numbers. Anything that you would think of that you would consider personal is the type of thing we’ve come across.”
— Google (@google) May 17, 2016
Most of the cases involved employees uploading the documents to Google Drive because they didn’t understand the privacy issues involved, and they didn’t understand the implications of making such sensitive documents available publicly. Many of the employees used Google Drive and Google Docs to share and collaborate on documents because it’s easier than the systems that many employers have in place.
At the government level, the US Government Services Administration demonstrated the risk of not following procedure when 100 Google Drives used by the agency were exposed for over five months. Investigators who discovered the breach said that it was a result of the OAuth 2.0 authentication system authorizing access between the organization’s stack account and GSA Google Drives.
— CNET (@CNET) May 18, 2016
As previously reported in The Inquisitr, Google added new features to Google Docs that allow users to create expiration dates on documents as well as work with Google Drive offline. This ease of use may also be contributing to the problem as users have easier access to documents that are available, and they can collaborate any time.
After a decade, this issue is still being seen as the result of Google Dorking. Google Dorking is described as Google hacking. It is a technique known among both black hat and white hat hackers, and it’s done with a simple query.
The biggest announcements Google could make this week https://t.co/z1gojqRK3t
— TIME.com (@TIME) May 18, 2016
The Guardian reported that when some people don’t know the answer to questions like, “Why don’t I have any friends?” the first place they look for an answer is in Google. Every day millions of users query Google with their most difficult questions. The writers at the Guardian sought to give answers to its readers about some of these questions.
Although several answers were given to the question “Why don’t I have any friends?” some of the answers included age, lack of self-awareness, and ability to handle the truth. Although children make friends easily, they tend to depend on those close by for friendship. It’s also possible that new friends haven’t shown up in the person’s situation yet.
Friendship also tends to change as adults get older. Friends move on, and the older one gets, the more likelihood friends have died. Enid W Rothenberg said in The New York Times that friendships change with time.
“For the very old, the relationships change markedly … those of us over 85 have to learn to make new friends when we have less to offer and more to lose in a new relationship. Are we being welcomed because we still drive or have the energy to serve wine in the afternoon?”
Maybe the answer is to not ask Google and to simply get out and meet other people. Although Google offers many answers to many things, it doesn’t offer the ability to be a friend.
[Photo via Google]