Friday, January 20, 2006

Hooray for Google!

When the White House asked internet search engine operators to hand over records, most of them cowardly complied. When the White House obtained a subpoena to force Google to hand over their records, Google refused.

The White House says it needs data to build up a profile of internet use for a specific purpose connected to online pornography legislation, and that it will not connect the data with individual people or computers. And we all know how much the word of the White House is worth.

Luckily for those of us who use Google, they are not willing to reveal information about us; they are also protecting the information as trade secrets.

This is exactly the kind of thing we have been worrying about with search engines for some time. Google should be commended for fighting this… When you are looking at that blank search box, you should remember that what you fill can come back to haunt you unless you take precautions.
- Pam Dixon, Executive Director, World Privacy Forum

I, for one, do not use any US-based search engine except for Google – now I feel very lucky to have unconsciously adopted that practice. Thank you, Google. I appreciate you standing up for what is right.

Amongst the internet companies that have released data to the White House are MSN and Yahoo. It makes me wonder if Yahoo is also free and easy with my e-mail.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1691273,00.html

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst your bubble. Though Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo have turned over search data (containing no personally identifiable information, they say) requested by the Justice Department, Google still refuses because the company is worried about..... protecting itself. Google is protecting trade secrets, including methodologies.

Max said...

Don't worry about me, Anon, you're not bursting my bubble. That they were also protecting their trade secrets was in their statement - that doesn't bother me a bit. In fact, it makes me happy because it gives their refusal more weight. Google's corporate motto is "Don't be evil," which also makes me happy and which I also left out of my post.

Max said...

And today, it has come out that Google is collaborating with the Chinese government. Now that bursts my bubble. Luckily, I am used to disappointment.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Exactly my point. Business first - they need to expand into China. The US they already have so they can afford to take the high road