SafeGov.org Experts Question Whether Google Can Adequately Protect Government Information in the Cloud

Karen EvansRichard A. FalkenrathJeff Gould by Karen Evans, KE&T Partners
Richard A. Falkenrath, Chertoff Group
Jeff Gould, SafeGov.org
Thursday, February 23, 2012

The safety and privacy of the information that government agencies entrust to
cloud computing services is of paramount concern to experts at SafeGov.org.
Recent incidents suggest that Google does not exercise adequate control over
certain aspects of its technology which may compromise the security of
government information in Google cloud services. SafeGov.org experts Karen
Evans, Richard Falkenrath, Jeff Gould and Douglas Miller call upon Google to
take proactive steps to reassure government customers that its services will
fully protect their information.

Specifically, these SafeGov.org experts think that Google should implement
the following measures:

(1) Create an audit program to ensure that their government-specific privacy
policies are effectively implemented by Google's cloud products and service
delivery organization. By publishing the audit program results, Google would
show to Congressional oversight and the American taxpayers that they are meeting
the terms and conditions of their federal government contracts.

(2) Publish the results of the audit program so that Federal, State and Local
government customers and the American taxpayers can be confident that Google's
privacy policies are sophisticated enough to protect government information.
Furthermore, the audit would give adequate assurances that Google is not
monitoring or sharing sensitive government information without explicit consent.

With Google's new privacy policies going into effect March 1, 2012 with no
opt out control afforded any user, the stakes could not be higher. Immediate
action should be taken. These SafeGov.org experts also call on all vendors
active in the government cloud computing market to undertake the same
commitments to information privacy and safety that they are asking of Google.
These measures are the indispensable precondition for a healthy and rapidly
growing market for cloud computing services used by governments of all levels.

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