Greplin aims to be the Google of cloud search

Web-based 'cloud' services - for e-mail, for calendaring, for document collaboration - are incredibly useful, but they can mean that you end up with your data scattered all over the 'net.

If that's the case for you, new search start-up Greplin could be just the thing to save you time - but it comes with a dark side that's likely to give privacy enthusiasts the screaming heebie-jeebies.

Currently in queued beta, Greplin is a cloud-based search engine that aims to give you a one-stop site for indexing and finding your cloud based content. Just add your accounts into its list, and it'll make them available for searching - whether it's Gmail messages, Facebook posts, Dropbox content, or even Twitter posts, everything is accessible from a single place.

That's where privacy alarm bells are likely to start ringing: in order for Greplin to index your data, you have to link it to your accounts on the third-party sites where your data is stored. By doing so, you're giving the Greplin platform complete access to your personal and private information - and, while this access can be revoked, you have only the founders' word for it that they're not snooping around in your stuff.

If you can get over the privacy implications and if you're using Google for your e-mail you can't be overly concerned with the thought of an automated system trawling through your private life, then Greplin promises to make your life significantly easier. No matter what you're looking for, or where it's stored, the surprisingly rapid search engine finds it in a flash.

There are even some features hidden within Greplin that Google could get jealous of - while the search and advertising giant has only just enabled Instant Search on its site, Greplin has had your results appearing as you type for quite some time.

The service also makes use of the flexibility of standards-compliant web pages, meaning that you can access your data through Greplin on any device that can browse the web - desktops, laptops, smartphones and even the growing range of Internet-connected TVs should you ever find yourself with the need.

As with any start-up, the important question is: where's the money? Greplin is looking to make its fortunes from professional subscriptions, which enable features suited to the corporate type that aren't available to the free-use plebs: as well as the growing list of common cloud platforms available to all, Pro users get access to Salesforce, EverNote, box, Basecamp, and Google Voice data.

While it's early days for the site, Greplin is already making it easier to find content: as the company adds more data sources, it could well prove invaluable for the Web 2.0-addicted users of tomorrow.

Now, if only they could do something about those annoying privacy implications...