Keeping Google Searches Confidential or Can You?

By at 3 February, 2006, 9:29 am

With all of the concerns raised recently by news that the government is using Google search data for investigation purposes, here is a timely article from systemsmanagementpipeline.com on how to to make Google searches private (at least on your own computer) with a few easy steps. Unfortunaltey, as this article on news.com details, Google actually maintains search information indefintely. The article aslo confirms that other search providers do the same. As word of this spreads, it won’t take attorneys long to start issuing subpoenas for information. While email is protected by privacy laws, the article explains why Internet searches are not protected:

That type of fishing expedition is not legally permitted for Web mail providers. But because search engines are not fully shielded by the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act–concocted back in the era of CompuServe and bulletin board systems–their users don’t enjoy the same level of privacy.

Ah, loopholes that any attorney can love. While this may not be an issue in small dollar amount cases, for high value and criminal cases, this is just one more source for possibly damaging information. But the search providers can’t get off completely – it’s their own policies that maintain this information indefinetly.

You may want to think about this the next time you start searching the Internet.

Categories : Hmmm! | Internet


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