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...Should we trust Google with our personal information?
Brin told NPR that he can't see any reason that people shouldn't trust Google. He points out that his company successfully fought back the Department of Justice's attempts ... subpoena user search records... .
Brin says that, frankly, Google isn't that interested in the nitty gritty of everyone's life.
"The kinds of things we do is we aggregate things. So we'll compute we got five percent more searches today than yesterday. And we're even able to deduce things such as Google flu trends, which is able to predict or estimate how many flu cases there might be in a particular state at a given time based on search query trends."
But, Cohen says, "Even if you believe that the Google of today would never, ever do the wrong, I don't think it's wise to assume that the Google of tomorrow will be the same."
from NPR's website:
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joined:July 3, 2008
joined:Jan 27, 2003
Credit bureaus have far more of my personal information on file than Google does
I think you're making a distinction between types of personal information that doesn't stand here. Sure, Google doesn't have everyone's financial information or name and address. But they certainly know a lot more about people's individual characteristics - everything from political opinions, religious views, to tastes in music and even to medical concerns.
In the wrong hands, this type of information is much more dangerous than who an individual has loans with and how often they pay them back.
What's worse, there is little to no regulation of what a search company can do with that information compared to the controls on financial institutions, and Google actively fight attempts to give control over this information to users.