Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google CIO Ben Fried Clarifies Remarks on Dropbox

It would be bad for Google for people to think it doesn’t use or endorse third-party cloud services for its own operations, because that’s a very hypocritical thing for a cloud service provider to do.

Google CIO Ben Fried

Enterprise 2.0 Conference/Flickr Google CIO Ben Fried

But, as part of an interview with Google CIO Ben Fried for a story last week on Google’s internal tools and practices, Fried told AllThingsD, “The important thing to understand about Dropbox is that when your users use it in a corporate context, your corporate data is being held in someone else’s data center.”

Fried’s comment — which was recorded — was in response to a question about why Google IT administrators zapped the Dropbox app from employee phones.

Fried and Google now say that he misspoke. Instead, Fried says he meant that the real concern about Dropbox and other apps is more around security than storage. “Any third-party cloud providers that our employees use must pass our thorough security review and agree under contract to maintain certain security levels,” Fried wrote via email after the story posted.

And, in fact, Google’s actions do reflect Fried’s revised statement, as the company doesn’t only use Google-made cloud products. As noted in the story, Google uses Salesforce for some internal operations, as well as some lesser-known products like the online product-management tool Smartsheet and IT-service-management software provider ServiceNow.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik