This week Google announced to users of its Google Docs service that they may have inadvertently shared some of their documents without their knowledge.
According to a note by Google quoted on TechCrunch:
"the issue only occurred if you, or a collaborator with sharing rights, selected multiple documents and presentations from the documents list and changed the sharing permissions. This issue affected documents and presentations, but not spreadsheets."
Google has since fixed the problem and said that it only affected 5 percent of the documents stored on the site. All affected users were sent the following letter:
We wanted to let you know about a recent issue with your Google Docs account. We've identified and fixed a bug which may have caused you to share some of your documents without your knowledge. This inadvertent sharing was limited to people with whom you, or a collaborator with sharing rights, selected multiple documents and presentations from the document list and changed the sharing permissions. This issue affected documents and presentations, but not spreadsheets. To help remedy this issue, we used an automated process to remove collaborators and viewers from the documents that we identified as being affected. Since the impacted documents are now accessible only to you, you will need to re-share the documents manually. For your reference, we've listed below the documents identified as being affected. We apologize for the inconvenience that this issue may have caused. We want to assure you that we are treating this issue with the highest priority.
Google wants to be a player in cloud technology. I can understand: the cloud will play a major role in the next iteration of computing technology. Today it's not a matter of if,but when problems happen, how will a company respond?
As a consultant, this has affected me professionally. I have recommended Google Docs to a few smaller clients that could not afford the Microsoft solution. Fortunately, none were affected, but I did get a few calls.
I think that Google needs to do a better job at jumping on things like this quickly and get them resolved. How can we trust the cloud? It starts by having confidence in the companies that are managing their applications -- and our data -- in the cloud.