Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Google's Privacy Statement.

There was an article on Google's changes to alleviate concern about potential privacy issues. It was very enlightening. Unfortunately, it didn't alleviate my concerns. Read the full story here.

Now cookies are something I don't have a major concern about. I kill as many as I can. Of course some sites refuse to work without them. Blogger is one. It works, in a fashion, but there are many things you can't do so it needs to have cookies enabled. So for very specific sites and tasks I have cookies enabled. The default is ask. I usually then click the remember this and block button. Removing the block if I can't work on the site and I actually really want to use the site. Otherwise I go elsewhere.

Now with Google's decision to keep them for two years may sound really good of them. But what it means in reality is if you go to a site with links to Google, Blogger is one, there are also some sites with a Google search facility on their site, and loading that site refreshes the Google cookie for another two years. And there are loads of these sites around the Internet the chance of anyone not hitting one in two years is pretty slim. So all in all a meaningless offer.

Now seeing as most people can just disable them anyway and it is not really a major concern for me. I flush mine regularly anyway. The part that did concern me is the bit near the bottom.
In March the search giant said it would anonymise personal data it receives from users' web searches after 18 months.

The firm previously held information about searches for an indefinite period but will now anonymise it after 18 to 24 month
Now why do they need to keep any personal data at all from searches? There can only be one reason they want to record who is searching for dwarf porn or something. I'm in for it now. From now on those dwarf sites will see no more of me. I can assure everyone I was actually looking for research purposes. There are a lot of perverts out there. Although what would that give them? Nothing they wouldn't get from an immediate analysis and anonymize the data before storage. It can only be to pass the search data on to law enforcement. Brilliant. So now the NSA and therefore GCHQ know what we all go looking for and our little fetishes. I wonder what my record at MI5 looks like now. Maybe I should pay my £10 and find out. Oh wait! Forgot it's not covered.

Yippee. So far from putting my mind at ease I'm going to avoid Googles search engine as much as I can although I suspect they all do the same now. Is there any non US or UK search engines out there? Looks like it's time for some sort of IP anonymiser. A good one just like the crooks and terrorists use to avoid these data captures.


At 12:23 pm, Blogger Lord Straf-Bilderberg said...

They gotcha. Google is the only realistic search engine and if you can disable, it seems the way to go.

Dwarf porn?

At 1:44 pm, Blogger Bag said...


Research purposes only. I'm looking for a £2M grant to study something.

What! You thought I was some sort of pervert. :)

At 8:03 pm, Blogger LFB_UK *The Legend* said...

prefer the term miget porn.... sounds less kinky I think lol


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