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Implement a system which uses encryption of the query string, with site owners given access to the decryption key
Hardly a fix as the website decoding the data could then pass the decoded referral data to 3rd parties
The problem is not that a middleman might get this data. The problem is that we as website owners get this data. Always has been. This is the real privacy issue here.
Implement a system which uses encryption of the query string, with site owners given access to the decryption key (through WMT) that could be used with code available from Google - this key could also be shared with analytics programs to decode the querystring.
and they are bound to give them useful reports.
[edited by: Leosghost at 5:26 pm (utc) on Oct 21, 2011]
Controlling access to the decryption key through WMT would allow Google to enforce terms and conditions on webmasters wishing to use the QS.
The amount of people searching on Google, who are actually logged into a Google account, has got to be incredibly small.