Your Google search queries may not be yours

googlesearch.jpgI do check site stats – I am usually looking for what other people are looking for – keywords that got them here. I don’t try putting two and two together, to figure out who looked for what, and I don’t adjust postings based on keywords (unless I get a request to remove a name or something like that). It is more about curiousity than anything else. Seems that the federal government is curious about what people are searching for too, as they are after Google’s personalized search results.

I was tired of hacking the Safari search bar to use my preferred engine in place of Apple’s hardcoded Google “suggestion” (something that has to been done everytime the browser gets cued for a regular patch), and was using Google again over the last month. I just cleaned up those personalized results from Google, after getting tired of it making suggestions for me as well.

By the way, Google has NOT turned over any results to the government – how long they can hold off subpoenas is anyone’s guess. The Feds say they need the data for research into how often pornography shows up in online searches, but with all the chatter about spying and so forth, I just have to wonder…

Why isn’t the government just running their own queries?

***UPDATE***

OK, maybe I was a little off. According to the latest from Business 2.0, the Feds don’t actually want personal histories, at least not yet.

Google is right to resist because this could be a very slippery slope. One million URLs today, one million personally-identifiable search histories tomorrow, says B2Day.

I’m still glad I clear my results.

***UPDATE 2***

Google may not have capitulated yet, but it seems MSN and Yahoo have.

Comments

Spamroll says:

Porn looker “NOC list” is in the open

This could win the “Irony Of The Year” award. The US Government tries grabbing Google search results, all the while claiming the need is for the fight against pornography (child in particular). Meanwhile, a huge list of pornography viewers names,…

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