Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Expectations of Privacy and Search Engines

A while back, the Bush administration issued subpoenas to major search engines like Google. Search engines collect a lot of information about us. They log our searches, often our IP address, and track sites we visit via cookies.

In November, Search Engine Watch wrote about a man who was convicted of killing his wife partly because law enforcement authorities discovered that he used Google to search for “neck,” “snap,” and “hold.” A less disturbing thread from WebmasterWorld reported that a woman clicked on her ex-boyfriends AdSense links so often that his account was suspended.

For more on privacy and search engines, see the Slate article by Timothy Wu.

Related to this topic...I heard a story about this on NPR today on the way home. I believe on NPR's Digital Culture...however I was unable to locate the story again as I missed what search engine doesn't track your IP address when you search. I found other references online to DogPile and Ice Rocket...but these didn't sound like the name of the engine in the story.

Did anybody catch it?


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