Search Engine Ditches All Log Files

from the searching-blind dept

There’s been a silly, and mostly meaningless, one-upmanship lately in the search engine world, concerning how long the search engines retain log file info on things like the IP address of searchers. Some privacy advocates have claimed that this is a big privacy issue, though the “threat” is significantly overblown. However, it’s still interesting to see a Dutch meta-search engine now announce that it’s ignoring IP addresses entirely. The site, Ixquick, which has always promoted itself as being privacy friendly, used to dump log files after 48 hours, but is now ditching them completely. That’s great, as an option, but it hardly means that others should do the same. It gives ixquick a way to differentiate itself in the market — and those who really are worried about their IP addresses being watched (and haven’t figured out how to use an IP-anonymizing service yet) can go use that search engine. But for those who actually find benefits in sharing some data with their search engine of choice, they should be free to do so.

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Companies: ixquick

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Comments on “Search Engine Ditches All Log Files”

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Richelieu (user link) says:

Re: It seems a little contradictary...

The issue is the generation of a weakly-associated audit trail that provides mountains of easily faked evidence to accuse somebody of heinous crimes, evidence that is not of good enough quality to convict somebody, but sufficient to destroy their reputation.

Search engine log files are like surveillance pictures showing you walking into a adult bookstore and coming out with a brown paper shopping bag — not enough to prove you are a criminal, nor to convict in a court of law, but plenty to convince your neighbors and congregation you are an evil pervert who ought to be run out of town, “for the children!”

Janet Altman says:

Criminal activity leaves a person without a certain amount of privacy rights (right to search and seisure, etc.). But for those of us out there, most of us, we have the right to our own private lives and to promote the safety and security of that life.

What I would like to see you publish here is a how to of how to protect our IP addresses. You illuded to it briefly.

Been reading a great deal about digital security through and wondering if you might expand on what they mention just to round out the information field. Thx.

Anonymous Coward says:

“There’s been a silly, and mostly meaningless, one-upmanship lately….”
Having read too much techdirt I instantly recognized a story that was going to criticize some non-American effort as compared to american.

“…though the “threat” is significantly overblown.” continuing with the standard trick of quoting “facts” on the assumption that anything the Masnicks say is instantly fact.

“…and those who really are worried about their IP addresses being watched (and haven’t figured out how to use an IP-anonymizing service yet)…”
Ignoring the fact that such services are horribly slow and degrade the internet experience whereas Ixquick doesn’t

…. typical techdirt nonsense.

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