What Do Your Searches Say About You?

from the how-much-can-you-interpret dept

With so much hype being focused on the government asking search engines to turn over data, on searches conducted, it appears that at least a few people are seriously starting to ask questions about what this all means. There's the question of how much you should trust your search engine? Then there's looking for ways to stay anonymous while searching, or suggesting that search engines stop keeping data altogether. A few people are dealing with the cognitive dissonance of being worried about all the data, but still being willing to hand it over for a buck off a box of cereal at the grocery store. Still, one question that we haven't seen addressed very much is what do your search terms say about you? This is one of the reasons why we were a bit worried to hear rumors of banned search terms on major search engines. There are plenty of reasons why someone might search on something that could look bad in retrospect, without the context of why they were searching for those terms. While we've already told the story of the guy accused of killing his wife whose Google searches included "neck snap break," it's still a bit worrisome to realize that out of context search terms could potentially implicate people of things they are completely innocent of.

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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 25 Jan 2006 @ 9:40am

    Re: Welcome to Techdirt Hyperbole


    It wasn't meant to be hyperbole. To be honest, I see banned and blocked as pretty much synonyms. If you couldn't search for the terms, what's the difference?

    We're not "looking for an angle" to attract readers. We just write what we find interesting. Sorry if you feel we chose the wrong word, but I think you're reading WAY too much into it.

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