May 14, 2007

Google vs Privacy


Michael Zimmer: Google's Unsatisfying Explanation for Retaining User Search Data

In sum, I applaud Google for trying to be more transparent about why it collects user data and what it does with it, but they still keep much in the dark.

[compare Why does Google retain data? Because nonexistent laws tell it to]

Google's official statement about logs

Note: "In developing this policy, we spoke with various privacy advocates, regulators and others about how long they think the period should be."

Observe the rhetorical set-up, of taking a middle ground between zero and infinity. Somebody is sure to say "never keep logs". Somebody is sure to say "keep logs forever, some investigation might find them useful". By doing whatever they felt like doing in the first place, they are compromising between the two "extremes".

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in google | on May 14, 2007 11:57 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Its one thing to announce that you're keeping the logs but really does everyone who seaches on Google know that? readers of your blog likely assume that Google is tracking searches. the bigger issue is what the data will be used for an of course the big question - how secure is the protection of those logs??

Posted by: Dave Butler at May 16, 2007 05:26 PM