Google’s plans to introduce a Cloud Print service that’s already being hailed as “printer voodoo” because it lets users print to any printer anywhere in the world, even from mobile phones.
However, there are some privacy and security implications that need to be fleshed out before end users rush to submit print jobs to Google’s cloud.
The service, which is now being baked in Google’s labs and will be featured in the company’s Chrome OS, uses a cloud service to submit and manage print jobs.
Here’s a bit from the documentation:
Apps no longer rely on the local operating system (and drivers) to print. Instead, as shown in the diagram below, apps (whether they be a native desktop/mobile app or a web app) use Google Cloud Print to submit and manage print jobs. Google Cloud Print is then responsible for sending the print job to the appropriate printer, with the particular options the user selected, and providing job status to the app.
Google is promising full transparency during the baking of this project but from past experience, it’s hard to place blind trust with an organization that knows even what we’re thinking (thanks Moxie!).
Here are some things to ponder:
What if an error cause sensitive data in print job ends up on the wrong printer? What if hackers exploit weaknesses to persistently capture printer traffic?
Lots and lots of questions to ponder…