Friday, January 20, 2006

Google vs Uncle Sam vs Privacy vs YOU

Lots of superficial reporting of the Google vs DOJ subpoena to turn over search information. I think the Gov't is less interested in the info, which they could obtain elsewhere, than in setting the precedent of making search snooping legal for them to do on a routine basis.

Unlike many onliners, I think the type of online privacy held dear by many is 1) not all that sacred in the first place and 2) an unrealistic expectation in the modern online world. Many don't realize the extent to which your financial, health, education, political, and other information are already available for review by anyone with enough money or cleverness to dig up the stuff.

For me the concern is less about collecting info than how that information is used. For that reason I'm as concerned about commercial abuses of the info (e.g. a search engine could notice my "digital camera" search and direct me to sponsor camera sites without telling me they've manipulated the results)

I think developments at Google and elsewhere have quickly eclipsed the ability of mainstream media to shed much light on the issues at hand.

JoeDuck's Blog


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