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
    Adam, 25 Jan 2006 @ 7:03am

    Beat the system

    Very easy to beat the system.

    If someone makes a website with a single line of text with a link at the end like so:

    Welcome to my site. Click 'here' to enter.

    And then they make the word 'here' a link to something like www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=INSERT_BAD_SEARCH_TERM_HERE&btnG=Google+Search

    You now have an unintended search being performed by anyone who visists your site. In court you can create a website that does this, not tell anyone whats going to happen, and then ask the judge to look at the website on your laptop. She will click the link and *BAM* she is now a criminal if you lose the case to the government. So naturaly you will be deemed innocent, to protect herself.

    Mwahaha

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