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Is anyone really suprised given the NSA background of Google's founder that your search habits would be sent to Googleplex with an unique GUID and a cookie lasting till 2038 despite not authorizing it?
The irony is that many complained about the Patriot Act being overly intrusive yet they willing accept a corporation acquiring volumes of personally identifiable data on their communications that never deletes the information.
Admin note - According to the article on PC World, Ben Edelman is the original discoverer of this Toolbar dysfunction, so a link to his page is within our guidelines:
[edited by: tedster at 1:16 am (utc) on Jan. 27, 2010]
Tuesday, January 26: A Google Spokesperson said "To be clear, this is only an issue until a user restarts the browser, and it only affects the currently open tabs for a small number of users.
Specifically it affects those using Google Toolbar versions 6.3.911.1819 through 6.4.1311.42 in Internet Explorer, with enhanced features enabled, who chose to disable Toolbar without uninstalling it. Once the user restarts the browser, the issue is no longer present. A fix that doesn't require a browser restart is now available on www.google.com/toolbar and in an automatic update to Google Toolbar that we are starting today."
No word on why Google never made the privacy issue public on their own however.