news from Google

Seth Mattinen sethm at
Fri Dec 11 15:07:22 CST 2009

Peter Beckman wrote:
> 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?

"We want your money" versus "we want your life".

>  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.

We are all likely breaking some law on a daily basis.

>  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.

Here's a pretty common line that Microsoft has that Google completely 
omits (or that I can't find):

"We do not sell, rent, or lease our customer lists to third parties."


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