| 3:44 am on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
"...as I'm keeping my nose clean and wonder what makes everyone else so tense about this feature as
they must be hiding something"
congratulations for mising the entire point. I suppose everyone that values their privacy or doesn't like the cops snooping around their cars, houses etc., is hiding something. Maybe a dead body or a meth lab, right? Great thinking there. The government truly loves people like you.
I believe that Google has crossed the "reasonable" line and I'm willing to bet that we'll see legislation on this. I can tell you to kill me, but if you do you still go in jail. The point is, that just because you give Google consent, they still have to abide by certain rules and regulations. I go to the doctors willingly and give them all my info, yet they are rules governing how they share or handle the information. Google apparently has a problem with deleting things. Just like you opted in, you should be able to completely opt-out. Now I wonder if the Gmail mail is truly deleted when you delete it...
| 5:01 am on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|I believe that Google has crossed the "reasonable" line |
You didn't do that search, did you?
The way the courts have defined it is not the same as the average person would guess. It does not mean that you expect a reasonable amount of privacy.
It means that is it reasonable to expect privacy when all the facts are taken into account. If there are more than a few minor things suggesting that you should not expect privacy in that situation, you are not entitled to it.
If Google tells you that they will not share anything, then you have a reason to expect privacy from them. But I am guessing that you don't have that NDA that they signed anywhere handy.
|and I'm willing to bet that we'll see legislation on this. |
I wouldn't be surprised, but I don't expect it to pass. There is all sorts of garbage legislation out there. Why change now.
|I can tell you to kill me, but if you do you still go in jail. |
non sequitor. That has nothing to do with a privacy discussion. They are totally different laws.
|The point is, that just because you give Google consent, they still have to abide by certain rules and regulations. |
And they are. If you know of any privacy laws being violated by this, then please share. They certainly are not violating the 4th amendment.
|I go to the doctors willingly and give them all my info, yet they are rules governing how they share or handle the information. |
Yes, and the last time I checked, HIPAA didn't mention coverage of search history privacy. Hell, it doesn't even do a very good job of protecting your medical privacy.
|Google apparently has a problem with deleting things. |
Why should they? Is there a law that says that they have to? Do you have a contract with them that requires them to?
|Just like you opted in, you should be able to completely opt-out. |
Uh, you can. It is really simple. Don't use their products, or take precautions when you do.
|Now I wonder if the Gmail mail is truly deleted when you delete it... |
I'm not sure what that has to do with the search history feature.
Do they say that it is? If so, then they are required to delete it.
The thing is, that I am a bit of a privacy fanatic. But I don't expect the world to provide it to me by default. I do things to ensure my own privacy where I care about it.
For those cases where I don't care about it, it is not worth my effort.
I have a Gmail account. I have turned on search history. And I am still able to do searches that google can never connect to that account or me in any way. Why should I have to give up that ability because you are lazy?
| 5:09 am on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|What's scary is more people seem to be more concerned with the security of a convenience feature Google offered that is obviously OPT-IN than they are with the fact that their emails are sitting in plain text on servers all over the place open to any prying eyes that want to see them. |
Bill, I was referring to all aspects of cluelessness with regard to privacy, including email and 900 mz phones.
| 5:14 am on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
>> Why change now.
I'm not going to harp about this much more, but I do belive that this is a PR and security problem more than it is a privacy issue.
I think this is a huge money making feature for google, if they can assure people that the data will not be repurposed. It is a marketers wet dream and an awesome extension for adwords.
"This isn't for someone who is particularly sloppy about signing in and signing off," she said. "You have to have very good computer hygiene to use this."
Does this sounds like a well thought of response. Her media trainer should be fired.
Now excuse me while I go wash my hands.
| 5:20 am on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|the government truly loves people like you. |
That's probably more true that you'll ever know.
OK, you want the truth? you can't handle the truth....
Based on my scholastic test scores back in the cold war days I was practically begged weekly (took 2 years to shuck them off) to join the military nuclear program with my uncles, 1 in nuclear engineering, 1 in intelligence.
Ever had all your friends, family and acquaintances regularly interviewed by GMEN the MIBs?
Ever had your phone tapped by the feds?
Talk to me about privacy after you do and it will be a meaningful conversation.
That's why I find most of this discussion silly as I've been scrutinized and lost privacy much worse than anything Google could possibly do, I'd welcome something corporate by comparison :)
| 5:47 am on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
well, I'm done with this conversation. It has gone from "it's a great idea" to "don't use it if you don't want to". Like I didn't know that. Don't use cable once they start selling names tied with programs watched, don't use the library when they start selling your personalized reading list, don't use Verizon when they record your conversations and share the contents with advertisers, or don't use MSFT when they e-mail RIAA the list of the songs you're playing on Media Player.
It's all for our own good and convinience. Did people defend G*tor and other spyware with the same zeal here? After all you agreed to the 40 page long agreement when you downloaded the program. Too bad you can't un-install it, or if the dialer call to the 900 number is $20 a minute.
It's obvious that Google will do what it pleases anyway, until they get embarrased by a security breach ala ChoicePoint or a state or the Congress regulates information gatherers. Google has crossed the Rubicon.
IncredibleBill: As you know, test and IQ does necessarily translate in all fields of life. I don't know you and you don't know me. I'm sure you're very bright and a nice guy. I made the comment based on your "if you have nothing to hide" type response.
| 9:08 am on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Brett, can you start a Privacy forum for all those who think are so important that everybody wants to track them down.
Could we resume discussing features here!
| 9:33 am on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Privacy, or rather the compromising of it, is a feature of My Search History that is worth discussing ;)
| 12:02 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Uhm, isn't it so that this is a service that is all about keeping data about what you do? Isn't that the very essence of this service, and the way it operates?
I mean, how can you specifically ask someone to store data for you and then expect them not to do so?
I am all for privacy and i do respect people and enterprises that take this seriously, but in this particular case the product is storage of your data. It works that way: What it does is to store your data. I don't really think it can be more up-front than this, so the advice of "if you don't want it, don't use it" seems reasonable to me.
| 1:35 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Until they get this to work with the firefox googlebar it's worthless to me. I never go to the google homepage anymore!
| 2:10 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Perception is everything. I suspect many Google users will "hear" Google is storing your search history. Unless Google does a VERY good job of explaining how this actually works, many users will quit using google at home to search for ...well you know... for fear their boss can somehow find out. After all they know the company advertises on Google so maybe they can get access. Now most reasonably knowledgable web savy persons will know this is not the case. But with the general population things have a way of getting lost in translation. Word of mouth is both the best and worst form of advertising. In this case if the public gets anything less than "the whole story" they will have perceived security issues. It doesn't have to be true to have an affect. When it comes to privacy and security I think everyone would agree that you should always err on the side of caution. Even the discussion of privacy issues with Google will lead some to play it safe and switch engines. People will more often than not only get half the story in this case it raises concerns justified or not.
| 2:10 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Claus, isn't it possible to encrypt data so that it can only be accessed by the user? Why is it always necessary for companies, (not just Google) to have access to this type of data at all?
| 2:28 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
BeeDee, actually there's a business opportunity right there in front of you just waiting for someone to take it - 100% anon information storage, retrieval, and exchange. It can get pretty huge, but i'm too busy anyway so it's up for grabs (and there's a small problem concerning how to bill for it).
To answer the question, data mining is a very good tool for product development, and it's "free". Or rather, it's a barter trade: You use a free service, pay with your usage info, which in turn is used to improve the service - and/or monetize it. Often it is easier to get revenue from eg. advertisers than it is to get it from users.
| 2:38 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
A sane article about Google Search History on Forbes today:
| 2:42 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|can you start a Privacy forum for all those who think are so important that everybody wants to track them down. |
In the US, privacy isnt an issue of self-importance, but a an aspect of a constitutionally protected right. An opt-in service is great, but many are assuming that outside of this feature, your searches are private. This isnt new, just a feature Google decided to offer since they have been storing this info anyways, as do the other search engines.
The use of the feature isnt the first part of the opt-in. That commences when you use the search engine to begin with.
Bill, comparing resumes isnt the point here. Putting this feature and privacy issues into prospective is.
| 3:14 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Hey all, I'm going to be away from a computer today and this weekend. I just wanted to let you know I'll be away--I'd already mentioned the stuff that I wanted to talk about anyway.
| 4:33 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|Until they get this to work with the firefox googlebar it's worthless to me. |
It does. The links are also on the results pages.
| 6:30 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|comparing resumes isnt the point here. |
Hmmm. I don't remember doing that, thought it was a lesson presented was that you only get as much privacy as the government allows which varies based on who you know or who you are. Trust me, if they want to find out something, they certainly don't need a new feature in Google to do it.
|Putting this feature and privacy issues into prospective is. |
Actually it's more of Google hysteria.
Anyone could knock out a quick client side app that integrates with IE which could track what you entered in ANY search engine, not just google, or what sites you clicked on from those search results. Maybe a PC version of this app already exists, but there is no reason in my mind why you ever need to leave this information on Google's server unless there is more value-add that can be provided for your search results.
The feature it can be turned on/off at will so you can track research work then turn it off when you do more personal searches. You get to pick and choose what they track, then again if you don't use it it's never an issue! :)
| 7:06 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
|You get to pick and choose what they track |
No, what you get to do is pick what they show you out of what they track. They can certainly still keep track of what you are doing. They have been doing this for years.
This just gives them a way to associate your searches with more specific personal information.
But you are right, if you don't want that to happen, don't use the service.
| 7:38 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I won't use this service as trying to find stuff that I had previously searched for is not a problem to me. It should not be a problem to anyone who knows how to use SEs (assuming of course that the SEs are providing accurate data).
I cannot help but think that all of these add ons, "tools" and options are just ways of them admitting that they are not working properly
| 9:03 pm on Apr 22, 2005 (gmt 0)|
Raw logs are one step removed from being connected to the user who triggered the creation of the logs. With sufficient raw data, activity can be reconstructed and reconnected to all the personal data which was collected at the time.
If your complaint is only the efficiency by which a company can use the information they collect, then you are tossing all privacy concerns out the window. It's the collection and storage which is the privacy concern -- because someone eventually can come along and abuse it even if, at the time, those with the reins were responsible.
| 6:56 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)|
There's only three things I wish it had =>
* "Star" specific entries: usually when you do a search, you end up with alot of cruft in your search history. It would be nice to be able to "star" the result(s) you were looking for.
* Offline archive: Similar to Yahoo's My Web beta, where it saves a copy of the page in the event the page should ever go offline or become unavailable.
* Bookmark management: Using My Search History as a bookmark manager instead of the browser's built-in bookmarks. If you have multiple computers, sync'ing bookmarks is always a hassle.
| 4:32 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
to all you fans out there:
"On June 8, 2004, an FBI agent stopped at the Deming branch of the Whatcom County Library System in northwest Washington and requested a list of the people who had borrowed a biography of Osama bin Laden."
granted Google is not a "library", but a good lawyer can make the case that it is similar enough to fall under the same law. If a building is still smoldering, what do you think the judge will do? Now you're on a Govt' watch list for no reason, just because you wanted to find out more about some guy named (insert name here). How many of you have read or searched about Bin Laden, his family, bio, etc?
"Since the passage of the Patriot Act in October 2001, the FBI has the power to go to a secret court to request library and bookstore records considered relevant to a national security investigation. It does not have to show that the people whose records are sought are suspected of any crime or explain why they are being investigated. In addition, librarians and booksellers are forbidden to reveal that they have received an order to surrender customer data."
| 5:11 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
I suggest that you stop using any US based search engine at all then. It isn't this feature that raises the privacy issues, it is the system logs and your ISPs and whatever proxys you chose to use that are more of a concern.
By the way, many librarians are now deleting checkout histories once the book is returned because they do not like those previsions.
| 7:17 pm on May 18, 2005 (gmt 0)|
My favorite quote on this (not sure where I heard it)...
"You know what? Google knows everything about you.
"And you know what else?
"It's really boring."
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