Last week, I blogged about a proposal to move the city of Los Angeles’s e-mail system, internal data and public records to Google’s paid cloud computing service Google Apps. There has been a lot of controversy, and the World Privacy Forum has written to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (pdf) raising questions about privacy and security components of the proposal.
Now, Computerworld reports that “Matt Glotzbach, director of product management for Google Enterprise, said the angst voiced by consumer groups and others about the Los Angeles project is overstated and based on incomplete information. In fact, he contended that transitioning the applications to Google will strengthen the security of the city’s data and better maintain its privacy.”
In L.A.’s $7.25 million plan (pdf), “the city [would] transition about 30,000 users to Google’s e-mail and office productivity products by the end of December 2009 […] The migration would make Google, which hosts the servers running the applications, responsible for retaining and protecting sensitive health care and litigation data along with criminal and drug investigation records.”
The outcry about L.A.’s plan comes on the heels of a scandal at Twitter, where a hacker was able break into a Twitter employee’s e-mail account and through that was able to get to confidential business documents that were stored on the business version of Google Apps.
The privacy and security controversy hasn’t derailed the plan in Los Angeles, however. The “Information Technology Agency (ITA), which oversees technology implementations in the city, yesterday said the city is still committed to implementing Google Apps. The agency insisted that provisions are in place for addressing the security and privacy issues raised by critics […] Randi Levin, the city’s chief technology officer and general manager of the ITA, said that the project has received tentative approval from the California State Department of Justice after a review of city’s plans for addressing security and privacy concerns.”