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Ex FTC Employee Files Complaint Over Google Privacy

 2:31 pm on Oct 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ex FTC Employee Files Complaint Over Google Privacy [blogs.wsj.com]
A former Federal Trade Commission employee has filed a complaint with the agency accusing Google Inc. of not adequately protecting the privacy of consumers’ search queries.

The complaint was filed September 6 by Christopher Soghoian, who worked until August as a technologist with the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection. It calls on the agency to investigate Google and to “compel Google to take proactive steps to protect the privacy of individual users’ search terms.” The complaint alleges Google shares with third parties users’ search queries, including those that contain personal information.



 7:00 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

The REAL QUESTION that people should be asking, and demanding an easy-to-access solution for, is why don't most BROWSERS give any easy way to disable it from passing the referrer?

Because they do not want to clutter up their UI with options that only a few people want. They put cookie options in their because lots of people want cookie control. Firefox puts the referer option in about:config for the few people that do want it. They could hardly move all those options to the main UI, could they?

I have not yet seen an example of a privacy problem that would worry me that would work purely on referers: referers might worsen privacy problems with cookies, but that can be solved by controlling cookies.


 10:42 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

instead of assuming they are stupid or ignorant, try to figure out how you would solve that problem

my solution would be based on protocols and standards, which may be extended or ignored in cross-browser-incompatible ways by each user agent developer as they see fit.


 11:55 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

The sub-problem under discussion was bookmarking pages created by POST - I said it would require a trivial change to browsers, you said it couldn't be done and gave a very specific reason why.

Which of us was was right?


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