Google's Growth Raises new Privacy Fears

Is Google turning into Big Brother?

Published Tue, Nov 4 2008 6:31 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:38 PM CST
There is certainly no doubt that Google is a giant in the Internet Search and Ad industry. But many are seeing Google's growth as dangerous to consumer privacy. It is not the fact that Google captures information on your searches or that their Google Desktop and Toolbar index information on your system, no it is the fact that Google does this without most people knowing anything about it. The launch of Google's Chrome web browser brought much of this to the surface as hacks around the web found caches of personal information (including cached banking web pages that could be recalled), search information, and to top it off it was uncovered that Google shares the same security loopholes that Safari does (a browser known for being insecure).

FairFax Digital has a good read on the issue and includes statements from both sides (Google and the Consumer Groups).

I think that it is summed up best by this quote "Google's founders may say, 'We're going to protect that information,' but no other company," he said, "is positioned to exploit that information in the way Google is."

Google's Growth Raises new Privacy Fears

Read more here.

Perhaps the biggest threat to Google Inc.'s increasing dominance of Internet search and advertising is the rising fear, justified or not, that Google's broadening reach is giving it unchecked power.

This scrutiny goes deeper than the skeptical eye that lawmakers and the Justice Department have given to Google's proposed ad partnership with Yahoo Inc. Many objections to that deal are financial, and surround whether Google and Yahoo could unfairly drive up online ad prices.

A bigger long-term concern for Google could be criticisms over something less tangible _ privacy. Increasingly, as Google burrows deeper into everyday computing, its product announcements are prompting questions about its ability to gather more potentially sensitive personal information from users.

Why does Google log the details of search queries for so long? What does it do with the information? Does it combine data from the search engine with information it collects through other avenues _ such as its recently released Web browser, Chrome?

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