Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Search Engines and Your Privacy

For Wednesday's class, we are digging into the issue of violations of privacy with search engines.

Here are two articles from the computer magazine PC World that might be of interest:

One article highlights the recent controversy involving Google, YouTube, and Viacom. Google, which owns You Tube, was ordered by a judge to release You Tube user and viewing information to Viacom. The article explores the question of why Google is maintaining as much personal information about users and viewing habits on You Tube as it is.

Another article describes the controversy when AOL released several million search queries to academics to help them study search patterns. The search data was leaked, however, and soon it became clear that AOL had not purged personal information about users from the search queries. This led to a lawsuit, and again raises the question of why AOL is keeping user profiles with search information.

Finally, if you have privacy concerns, Business Week has some suggestions on how to protect yourself.

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