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. identicon
    Scott, 25 Jan 2006 @ 10:35am

    Re: Little Johnny's searches

    The difference is someone has found a way around, it is not quite in the open. Google did at least try to block it.
    Parents should be responsible, when my son gets old enough to use the web, I will be the type or parent using draconian measures to be sure he is not seeing that type of stuff until he is ready(assuming I have a clue when that is.) But when google helps to keep some, they will never be able to block all, of that content, I can rest somewhat easier.
    The key to remember here is that google is a private business and must balance community ideals with business goals.

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