To begin this series of blog posts, we're going to start with an Introduction to Google Apps Security and Privacy. In this post, you'll learn the basics of how Google manages personal data, business data, and how you can learn in more detail about these things and more.
Google's Data Management Policies
In typical Google fashion, they cover their data mangement policies in five different categories. We're going to start our Ask A Google Apps Admin series with a simple overview of these policies, which you can read below.
Google boasts a 99.978% availability for all of its services, something that's unprecedented for such a large Internet business. They've achieved these numbers by having a massive amount of servers in data centers all over the globe, while investing in Internet infrastructure to make sure the connections to these servers are rock-solid. Hardware still fails in these circumstances, of course- but with Google's software failover, service is almost never disrupted.
Privacy and Security
Google ensures privacy fairly well, considering the size of their infrastructure. With the right security practices on your end, you have nothing to worry about as far as your data goes: there's a reason why Google hasn't fallen victim to any major security breaches so far. However, government/court-ordered seizure of data could still be possible- unless you've done something to anger Uncle Sam, though, this probably isn't a concern.
Google complies with a wide variety of security certificates and data protection standards. You can click here to look at a list of their certificates.
And then there's transparency. There's two key things that Google maintains transparency on: what they're using your data for, and how much the government is asking to take a look into the data they store. The former concerns how their data feeds their algorithims for searches and advertising, while the latter is covered in their dedicated Transparency Report.