Federal Computer Week notes that federal agencies are wary of desktop search tools because of the potential for “third parties” to gain access to critical files.
Andrews said two main problems plague all desktop search appliances. If security is breached, either by an intruder using an unattended machine or by theft of a desktop or laptop computer, prowlers can find sensitive information faster.
Employees of law enforcement agencies, the FDA and other regulatory bodies can easily expose confidential investigations. The second concern is that when employees use free software, agency officials cannot control the applications as much as they control enterprisewide deployments. …
…He also questioned privacy ramifications of desktop search tools that reveal information to third parties. The free programs are supported by advertisers on Web pages.
Andrews raised other significant concerns about agency officials’ adoption of free software, because government interests may not be aligned with the interests of corporations that offer the free resources.