news from Google

Peter Beckman beckman at
Fri Dec 11 14:57:10 CST 2009

On Fri, 11 Dec 2009, Seth Mattinen wrote:

> It's better than the "maybe you shouldn't be doing things you don't want 
> people to know about" statement. That right there gives me some insight on 
> where Google wants to go in the future with privacy.

  At least Google seems to be honest about it.

  What does Bing say they keep about you when you search, not logged into
  your Passport account?  IP + searches, date and time?  And what do they
  actually do?  What about Yahoo, now that they will use Bing?  Or even
  AltaVista?  How do we know the difference between the reality of what they
  do versus their Privacy Policy?

  If you aren't breaking the law, the government won't be looking for your
  data, and won't ask Google/Yahoo/Bing/AltaVista or other search companies
  for your data.

  If you ARE breaking the law, and you live in the US, you gotta be careful
  about what you do on the Internet, 'cause it all gets logged differently
  in different places.

  retaining search data with IP address and maybe even account ID for a
  period of time.  Not even Netflix, who thought they scrubbed the Netflix
  Prize Dataset, was able to rid the data of your personal information.

  We're living in a world where every web request writes to a log file.
  Those log files live for days, weeks, years, even decades, and depend on
  the admins running the site, not the Privacy Policy.  If you've ever
  visited my site, I've kept those logs for 10 years.  Your IP, your
  browser, all that crap.  This is the internet.  You are logged at almost
  every action you take, somewhere.  It's easy to archive those logs, and
  hard to cull them of "personally identifiable information."  Because disk
  is cheap, we tend to horde data, not delete it.

  I'd like to see an independent source compare Mozilla's Privacy Policy to
  their actual practices, and see if they are truly leaders in personal
  privacy or just being hypocritical.

  And even if they do keep to their Privacy Policy, they provide a useful
  service, and I'm not breaking the law (that I know of).  They can have my
  IP, what I search, what AddOns I've added, my crash signatures.  At least
  I know what they have and that they will follow US Law and give it to
  authorities when properly requested.

  You don't get to have Privacy on the Internet.  It's a fallacy.  You have
  to work really hard to truly have privacy on the 'net.  And lie a lot.

Peter Beckman                                                  Internet Guy
beckman at                       

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