The story goes like this: although you do your work using Google Apps online, the actual data is stored Google’s servers in the US. That’s where the problem lies, because, according to the U.S. Patriot Act, the authorities are legally able to see any personal data stored by U.S. organizations.

The problem first broke out at Lakehead University in Canada, which was one of the first large-scale adopters of Google applications. The university told the staff to use something else for personal or sensitive information.

"The [university] did this on the cheap. By getting this free from Google, they gave away our rights," told Tom Puk, past president of Lakehead’s faculty association, to the Globe and Mail.

You would have no idea what they are up to with your information until, perhaps, it is too late. We don’t want to be subject to laws of the Patriot Act," he added.

Google has a good record track when it comes to keeping its users’ data private. However, there’s no saying whether the US Government will be more successful in the courtroom next time or not.